A garden can significantly increase the value of your buy-to-let property in the UK, both for landlords looking to increase their rental income and for tenants who are willing to pay a premium for some outdoor space.
In fact, a recent study concluded that a garden adds an average of 25%* to the typical rent price, but this can vary significantly depending on where the property is in the UK.
Landlords in cities where space is at a premium, such as London, can expect to earn significantly more from a buy-to-let with a garden than those in cities such as Sheffield, where more properties come with outdoor space.
Why Does a Garden Add So Much Value?
The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the way people live in the UK, with national lockdowns forcing people to spend significantly more time at home, and many employees now working full-time from their homes.
This has led to a big increase in demand for properties with gardens, because during the summer months, in particular, people have been spending far more time outside, especially with so few shops and leisure facilities open, such as bars and restaurants.
Longer term, the trend is likely to continue. Even as offices and nightclubs gradually reopen, many people are likely to continue working from home more often and use their homes to entertain guests rather than head out to bars and pubs, especially while some restrictions still remain in place.
And of course, if you’re entertaining guests on a warm summer’s day, then a garden is ideal, certainly more so than a property without any outdoor space at all.
How Can I Maximise the Value of the Garden in My Buy-To-Let Property?
If you don’t currently have any tenants in situ, then it’s worth using this time to bring your garden up to scratch to attract more potential tenants and a higher monthly rent.
It’s entirely up to you how much or how little you do to the garden, but even if you’re on a tight budget, you can plan a couple of simple things, such as planting some bedding plants and cutting the grass before any viewings. This will instantly make it appear more attractive to prospective renters.
If you really want to add value to the garden, though, then having it landscaped can make a significant difference, particularly if you plan to sell the property in the future.
Having the garden professionally designed and landscaped can be expensive, but it will attract more tenants, and they’ll be more likely to pay a premium. It will also act as a motivator for them to maintain the garden to a high standard, but it’s worth clarifying how much you expect of your tenants when it comes to keeping the garden maintained, as not all prospective tenants are likely to be green-fingered. It’s always advisable to detail what’s expected in your tenancy agreement.
Will All Gardens Appeal To All Tenants?
It’s very important that you take this into account when you’re planning what to do with the garden and when you’re defining your target tenants.
For example, if your buy-to-let is being marketed at families, then a big lawn space and a few hazards such as ponds or other water features is probably the best way to go.
However, if you’re targeting students or young professionals, then a patio or deck space where they can host guests is likely to be more suitable, as well as just a handful of plants that require little or no maintenance.
Generally speaking, any outdoor area is likely to be more attractive than no outdoor area. However, bear in mind that some spaces will be more appealing to certain people than others.
If you are considering planting any flowers or shrubs, then a few low-maintenance ones will appeal to the broadest range of renters.
What If My Buy-To-Let Property Only Has a Small Outdoor Space?
If this is the case, then it’s still worth investing a bit of time and money into smartening it up. Whether that’s having a new patio laid, or even just jet washing the current one and adding a couple of small plants. Anything that improves the aesthetics of your outdoor space will help attract renters.
People are increasingly looking to spend more time hosting and entertaining outside, so any space you have, no matter how big or small, is worth investing in.
Want to discover the rental value of your property? Book a valuation with us today.
*courtenay.co.uk: ‘How much value could a garden add to your buy to let property?’