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Best practice for maintaining the garden in your investment property

By Courtenay Morrison

In an increasingly competitive rental market, with supply jumping 28% in Sydney alone, it’s important not to forget about landscaping, as it might just be what puts your property above the competition – and creating a tenant-friendly garden is easier than you think.

The aim is to create a green space that is not only attractive, but low maintenance so any tenant, green-thumb or not, can take care of it with little issue. At the end of the day, you want it to be a space that they like being in and won’t let go. Here are some easy tips and tricks to help you create the perfect, cost-effective, tenant-friendly garden, but it’s always a good idea to consult a professional before you start a large garden project.

Start by knowing your responsibility

When signing a lease with new tenants, it’s important to be clear about what you are expected to maintain versus what will be the tenant’s responsibility. Tenants are required to return your property, including the garden, in the same condition in which the tenancy started. However, you may work out an arrangement with your agent and tenant where you will take responsibility for providing care for any part of the garden, including a pool, fountain or high-maintenance plants.

Low maintenance is key

Consider the long-term growth of anything you plant as you don’t want tree roots, leaves or overgrowth to become an expensive issue down the road.

A great maintenance-free option is paving. Not only do you not have to worry about grass becoming untidy or the chance of weeds taking over, paving also creates an open, welcoming entertainment area for your tenants, promoting indoor and outdoor living.

If you still want that ‘classic backyard’ feel, opt for low maintenance grass such as Zoysia which are slow-growing so it doesn’t need to be mowed frequently, or even consider going with synthetic grass to get the best of both worlds.

Screening

One way to elevate the look of a garden space without too much effort is investing in screening plants. Try Clumping Bamboo, which is easier to manage than other varieties and only moderate in growth. It can act as a feature wall against the back fence, growing up to 4 metres in height but can be easily trimmed if it gets too tall for your tenant’s liking.

No-fuss plants

Tough plants that can survive most climates and require next to no maintenance are best for your space. Native plants have no issues battling the warmer months and give a homier feel. Eremophila Maculata (spotted emu bush) and Philotheca Buxifolius (cascade of stars) are both good plants to choose.

Another no-fuss solution are the cacti and succulent species, ever-growing in popularity. Needing very little watering, they’re happy to sit in your garden and make it look more put together. We recommend Crassula Campfire or any succulent in the Echeveria species.

Blooms, year round

Planting perennials is a great way to add some colour to your garden all year. Invest in garden beds or large pots of perennials to add a fuss-free splash of colour to your investment property.

Generally, most flower species will require some initial attention upon first planting. However, once established they will flourish and grow by themselves. Consider adding Gaillardia (blanket flower), Lavender, or Hibiscus to give your garden some character.

If ever you find yourself at a loss on plant options, Golden Guinea Flower, Native Violet and Native Geranium are all native to the Upper North Shore and will thrive in our local suburbs.

Remember to have a plan, do your research and keep your tenants in mind when bringing your garden to life.

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