Is there treasure buried in the backyard?
You only need to turn on the television to see the popularity of property makeovers – including the so-called “outdoor room” AKA backyard, courtyard or even balcony.
It is not surprising that properties with an appealing outdoor entertaining area are in demand, commanding higher rents and renting out more quickly.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost the earth to improve a backyard and changes need not be difficult to maintain.
Walls and fences can be painted, decorated with cut-out screens or screened using hardy plants.
Concrete can be decoratively resurfaced or covered with easily-installed clip-together wooden decking tiles.
Shade is another consideration – a well-positioned tree can grow to work wonders over the years, although a shade sail provides immediate cover.
Vertical gardens are all the rage these days, allowing tenants to grow herbs or other plants in small spaces. (Some are designed to hold pot plants, which allows for easy replacement if a plant dies.)
In larger spaces, a raised garden bed would be an alternative – inexpensive kits are available at major hardware shops.
RentCover Executive General Manager, Sharon Fox-Slater, said that properties with attractive outdoor areas not only fetched more rent but could help attract higher quality tenants.
“At the end of the day, any changes need to make financial sense – and more expensive additions such as outdoor kitchens might not add up in the same way as the basics of weeding, pruning and mulching,” she said.
RentCover landlord insurance includes cover of up to $1,500 for damage by storm or theft to contents in the open air (non-lockable areas).
Read more from The RentCover Report June: