Renting Riddles: what if my Buy to Let property has a small garden?

June 9, 2016Tags: buy-to-let | letting | lettings | Landlords

YM RentingRiddleBlogQ. How can I maximise my rent when my property has a really small garden, which seems to be putting tenants off?

A: You’ve got to tackle this on two fronts: make the most of the outside space the property’s got and make sure there are enough good points about the property to outweigh the negative of a small garden.

First of all, do your best to make sure nobody wastes their time. Put ‘small garden’ on the property details and adverts, and include a photograph, if possible. 

The next important thing is to make sure that the garden space is useable, so that prospective tenants see it as valuable. Small spaces are often best paved, rather than having just a little bit of grass, and you need to make sure it’s not too cluttered because that will only highlight the fact that it’s not very big! If you can fit a small table and a couple of chairs, plus some pot plants, you’re showing people the garden can still work for them as a nice outside sitting and dining area. Trim back any overhanging shrubs and keep fencing and walls in good repair.

Then make sure the inside of the property is spotless, so that as soon as prospective tenants step inside, it feels like a nice home. Give it a fresh coat of paint and, if it’s a furnished let, put up mirrors to give the impression of light and space. 

Look online at similar properties with larger gardens that are being offered for the same rent and try to improve on them. Think about what you could include that might make the difference to a tenant. For example, if your area has fibreoptic broadband, make sure the property is connected. Speak to local letting agents to find out the top three things that are currently on tenants’ wishlists and see if you can provide them – then list those benefits on the property advert.

If tenants still say they’re disappointed by the size of the garden, emphasise that it’s very easy to maintain and tell them about public parks and other green spaces that are nearby. If they’re still not interested, despite all your efforts, it may be that you’ll have to reduce the rent. Although that’s always disappointing news, remember that voids are the thing that hit your pocket the hardest. It’s often better to drop the rent slightly and know that you’ve got money coming in, rather than have the property sitting empty. You can always try for a higher rent the next time the tenancy comes to an end.

If you’re worried that a small garden – or anything else – that might be putting off tenants, come and speak to us or email and we’ll be happy to discuss what you could do to let your property sooner rather than later.

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Window boxes Laura Land @ 2016-06-09 11:23

Do you think it would be a good idea to add window boxes to my property to attract tenants? Do you think they would look after them, or would you take them away once the tenant had moved in?