When renting a property in Edinburgh, any outside space is a real bonus. But if you’re a landlord of a property with a small back yard or an unkempt patch of grass outside the kitchen door, how can you turn it into a tempting oasis for potential tenants?
A property with even the smallest garden will attract immediate interest in any major city. But with a bit of imagination, it’s possible to maximise the space and create a wow factor that tenants won’t be able to resist.
Back To Basics
Firstly, clear the garden of any debris – old pots, broken seating, weeds and overgrown plants – and strip everything back, so you have a blank canvas to work with.
Start with the garden boundaries. Fences or brickwork should be painted white to reflect the light and create an illusion of space. White garden furniture can also help the area appear less cluttered and give a fresh, neutral look. Let your tenants add their own personality with cushions and accessories!
Just like indoors, you can add mirrors and reflective surfaces such as shiny metal pots and planters. These create the illusion of doubling the size of the space. Make sure you buy mirrors designed to be used outdoors and consider using ones with a grid pattern over like a leaded window, as birds are less likely to fly into them.
Less Is More
Next, look at the floor space. Dark brickwork can be painted, but this quickly deteriorates. Many DIY stores sell click together garden decking squares that are perfect for a small area and garden rugs are also readily available. These can be hosed down and create an attractive feature that appears to extend the indoor living space outside.
Select a few carefully-chosen large pots and large-leafed plants – it seems counter intuitive, but they create the illusion of space. Lots of small pots and busy plants will make the garden look cluttered, so less is definitely more. Installing shelves and vertical planting options will leave as much of the floor space free as possible.
Consider using bamboo or another tall plant along one wall to soften the boundary and create height. Bamboo is also great for hiding an ugly fence or wall that can’t be successfully painted!
Keep It Minimal
Choose garden furniture carefully and don’t be tempted to clutter – a folding table propped against a wall can be brought out for al fresco dining, and folding chairs can accommodate extra guests.
Garden lighting can help to create an illusion of space, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Lights strung along the top of the fence or wall draw the eye to the extremities of the garden. Make sure they’re plugged into an external socket and are designed for outdoor use.
If the garden is overlooked, use a canopy for privacy rather than a screen or umbrella which will take up floor space. Sail canopies can be attached to the wall with carabiner clips, and choosing white will make the garden appear light and airy.
Clan Gordon is Edinburgh’s leading letting agent and our team of property management experts can offer a wealth of advice about preparing a property for rental to attract the best tenants. Schedule a call and start the ball rolling.
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