Gardens & your investment property
Tenants and landlords have different responsibilities for tasks around the garden. The tenant is responsible for mowing the lawns and weeding the garden beds. The landlord is responsible for pruning and maintaining trees, shrubs and hedges; but the tenant can take on those responsibilities if they are a keen gardener and if they have the landlords written consent. The main reason is to ensure that appropriate care is taken for larger work such as pruning. It is considered that the majority of tenants want a garden which is user-friendly, low maintenance and attractive. So, how do we do get a low maintenance and easy care garden? We talked to one of our gardening contractors and have three suggestions to help you achieve that much-desired low maintenance lifestyle.
We need to start from the very beginning before even planting anything. Weed matting is crucial, and if it is not used it won’t take long before the weeds start to sprout up from the ground. Weed mats will not only help keep the weeds out but they maintain moisture in the ground longer reducing the amount of watering required. However, weed mats can be a small nuisance if you do decide to have additional plants at a later date. So, if you need a bit more flexibility try some mulch or bark.
Simplicity is key, native New Zealand plants, flaxes and succulents are the best for investment properties. There are less leaf fall and year-round green foliage! Adele, one of our gardening contractors suggests a few: “as ground cover, you could use Ajuga which is very hardy with a lovely blue flower and spreads like a strawberry. There is dwarf flax called Emerald Green that is very nice and stays below hip height, Nandina is not a New Zealand native but good for a pop of yellow/red colour, Pitto golf balls work well with a nice shot of green. Also, getting taller variegated Phebalium looks nice while being easy to keep topped due to small leaves and maybe something in the Pseudopanex family would round out nicely for its long thin leaves”.
Finally, have a spare space outside that you just don’t know what to do with it? Create an additional living space, like a patio, courtyard or decking. It can keep the value of your property highly desirable while transforming a home for a tenant. Gardening can be a wonderful stress release, but so is simply sitting outside enjoying the outdoor space. I think we all know that a good-looking garden really does make a home, but also that gardening is not for everyone.
If the gardening at your investment property is a bit of a concern for you, there are a few solutions to help. Include the lawn and garden maintenance in the rent and have a contractor attend to the garden. Or, clearly highlight to the tenants their responsibilities before signing the Tenancy Agreement and complete regular property inspections during the tenancy. If you are looking at the garden in your investment property and thinking it could be due for an update, please do get in touch. We have a number of reliable and expert gardening contractors to recommend to help you achieve that low maintenance garden.