With the pandemic causing a surge in demand for properties with gardens across the UK, data from experts at Paving Direct shows having a garden adds 25% more to the average letting price.

According to the data, the most expensive gardens in the UK are in Bath where their backyards add over 43% to the average rental price for tenants.

The rise in demand is excellent news for landlords marketing properties with gardens who can expect a more lucrative return on investment. However, having a garden is also linked with increased tension, with research from the Dispute Services showing almost a quarter of all deposit disputes with tenants are over garden maintenance.

Generally, the tenant is responsible for keeping the garden in the same condition as it was at the start of their tenancy. This involves maintaining tasks such as removing litter, watering plants, and weeding. The landlord is responsible for tasks that require additional expertise e.g. fixing broken fences, removing broken sheds, etc.

In order to establish how landlords can avoid a garden dispute, here are five tips on maintaining the garden once tenants have moved in:

1. Put clear garden maintenance clauses in place

The tenant should know what they are responsible for in the garden and this should be written in the tenancy agreement which both parties have signed. This should take into account the greenery in the garden and what type of upkeep might be needed over the longer term.

2. Keep a record of the garden inventory

As well as a diligent record of the interior condition of the property, landlords should keep reports and good quality time-stamped photos of the garden so they have documentation in case of any problems which may arise with the tenant.

3. Conduct regular inspections

When conducting the property inspection for the tenancy, landlords should check over the garden too and document any changes. If there are any apparent issues, the tenant should be asked to rectify these at the time of inspection.

4. Maintain a good relationship with the tenants

Keeping a good relationship with tenants can help to avoid a garden dispute, where the tenants are able to add in plants and designs to the garden where they see fit. Tenants should also be encouraged to report issues when they occur, rather than at the end of the tenancy where it may become difficult to decide who owns responsibility over the issue.

5. Create a strong foundation

Ensure that the garden is in good condition before the tenants move in, clearing any excess weeds, mowing the lawn, and removing any uneven paving stones and old furniture. This will set the ground running for new tenants and ensure they have a baseline of what is expected from them.

Commenting on the research, Cass Heaphy, Digital Director  at Paving Direct said: “Our research shows just how much value a garden can add to a house and why homeowners need to be making the most of their outside space. Likewise, property investors need to be aware of the opportunity cost of upgrading the garden in their properties, as it can add real value, and higher income.

“I think one of the key things to come out of the whole lockdown experience for many people is really valuing their garden. It has underscored our appreciation of all the benefits it provides to happiness, health, and well-being. That appreciation is only going to increase demand and therefore, more value, to homes with gardens or outdoor spaces.”

For the full research, visit: https://www.pavingdirect.com/gardens-and-uk-rental-prices-2021

City Average price to rent Average price with a garden Additional Value of garden
Bath £975.00 £1,395.50 43.13%
Lancashire £589.00 £795.00 34.97%
Birmingham £764.00 £1,014.00 32.72%
London £2,898.20 £3,682.80 27.07%
Leeds £928.50 £1,160.80 25.02%
Wolverhampton £697.50 £867.00 24.30%
Reading £1,221.00 £1,500.00 22.85%
Newcastle Upon Tyne £647.00 £779.50 20.48%
Norwich £950.00 £1,137.30 19.72%
Portsmouth £1,061.50 1,263.50 19.03%
Plymouth £690.50 £816.60 18.26%
Coventry £768.00 £902.00 17.45%
Manchester £867.00 £1,011.50 16.67%
Glasgow £974.00 £1,111.50 14.12%
Bristol £1,207.50 £1,375.00 13.87%
Stoke-on-Trent £598.00 £676.00 13.04%
Swansea £842.00 £947.00 12.47%
Nottingham £699.00 £756.50 8.23%
Edinburgh £1,386.50 £1,466.00 5.73%
Luton £1,049.00 £1,107.00 5.53%
Derby £808.50 £852.50 5.44%
Sunderland £556.50 £586.00 5.30%
Southampton £1,067.50 £1,118.50 4.78%
Bradford £658.00 £686.50 4.33%
Northampton £1,183.20 £1,227.00 3.70%
Cardiff £988.00 £1,015.50 2.78%
Liverpool £683.10 £694.40 1.65%
Leicester £797.00 £806.50 1.19%
Sheffield £737.00 £742.50 0.75%
Kingston Upon Hull £619.00 £622.00 0.48%

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Daniel Peacock.

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