Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, July 13, 2020

How to look after your rented garden

If you’re lucky enough to rent a home with an outdoor space - be that a modest balcony, a small paved area or more - it’s important to take good care of it. It can be difficult to put your heart into a space that technically isn’t yours but when you rent, you need to remember that you’re still paying for a property to be your home. Why not treat it like one?


I can’t speak for everybody, but you wouldn’t let your kitchen become impossibly untidy and covered in grime… So why let that happen to your garden? 


What are the tenants' responsibilities for a garden?

There can often be a little confusion amongst tenants on what within their rented garden is their problem, and what is their landlords. Whether you’re a keen gardener or you really can’t be bothered, you’ll want to know the ground rules and where the boundaries lie.


In simple terms, as a tenant, it is your responsibility to keep your garden looking as lovely as your home. That could be simply keeping the paving swept and free of weeds and mowing the lawn, or lovingly tending to beds of plants - as long as it’s not a total bomb site then you’re doing your job. Your landlord is responsible for anything where there is a level of expertise required such as pruning tall trees, maintaining a pond or if you come across an issue that’s not your fault, such as a rotting fence. 


Your landlord may even choose to hire a gardener to save themselves the headache of trusting their tenants to look after a garden. This usually comes with a slightly higher monthly rent, but it does mean you’ll always have a lovely garden to enjoy in return.


In most cases, however, the tenant is responsible for maintaining an outdoor space to at least an acceptable standard. Your landlord will have to allow for fair wear and tear but if supplied plant pots, furniture or garden gates get damaged then they will be able to deduct money for the repairs from your deposit - just as they would for anything inside the home. A good landlord will have the right landlord insurance in place in case of garden damages or neglect but it’ll be you that loses out. It’s all about respect and looking after the space as you should.


Why look after your garden?

If you’re not naturally green-fingered, then that’s ok. There’s plenty of ways that you can keep gardening low maintenance and easy but you’ll be surprised at how much you can get out of being in the garden. I think the coronavirus lockdown has taught us all that, right? Being outdoors is so important for our mental health - especially if you live in the city so in many ways, creating the right city garden is more important than a leafy suburban one. It creates a space for you to unwind, for local wildlife to thrive and improves the quality of your air.


So, what can I do to improve my city garden?

With that in mind, there’s so many tricks and hacks that you can implement in your city garden, whatever the size. For instance, encourage birds into your garden with feeders, birdhouses and baths. There’s not a lot that’s more relaxing than hearing the birds singing and even more so if you can see them fluttering about your garden. 


A garden should be a relaxing space where you can go to unwind at the end of the day. Could you invest in a water feature? Water features have been proven to reduce blood pressure and stress levels to improve your physical and mental health - something we could all do with at the moment, let alone those of us living in fast-paced cities. It gives your garden a sense of calm and tranquillity. They’re particularly suitable for gardens in busy, built-up areas as the right style of water feature (something with a bit more power such as a water blade) will help to mask any traffic and outside noise. It’s also so much easier than you’d think to have a water feature installed as you can power them through your mains, solar power or by a battery.


One of the most important aspects of having a garden is making it an extension of your home. You want it to be somewhere that you can sit and enjoy a book or your morning coffee, or somewhere you can eat dinner with friends. That’s why a living space is so important. Find a spot to add in some garden furniture. There’s so much out there so whatever space you’re working with, you’re bound to find something that’s perfect. If you don’t have much of a paved space, deck chairs and egg chairs work well. If you have a balcony, fold-out furniture that you can tuck away when it’s not being used is the perfect option.



Never underestimate the importance of a garden. When you’re renting, it’s you who will lose out if you neglect it and it turns into a jungle. Gardening doesn’t have to be time-consuming but if you dedicate a little effort into keeping your outdoor space nice, you’ll reap the rewards.


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