Gardening hacks: How to transform your rented garden without breaking your contract

Gardening hacks: How to transform your rented garden without breaking your contract


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Gardening can be restrictive while living in a rented property, but don’t assume that it is totally off the cards. Taking pride in your garden while keeping your landlord happy doesn’t have to mean empty flower beds and a lacklustre landscape – you just have to get creative. spoke to the gardening experts to find out how you can transform your rented garden in just a few reversible steps.

Is gardening permitted at a rented property?

Garden maintenance is a common point of dispute for both landlords and tenants.

Whether you are looking to update the aesthetic of the garden or you want to host a BBQ, there are a number of grey areas which are often confused by both parties with renting.

According to Hamilton Fraser Insurance: “The tenant is generally only responsible for returning the garden in the same state that it was in when they moved into the property.

“This means that a landlord cannot expect a tenant to carry out improvements to the garden if it was already in a mess.”

While there is often no expectation to make improvements to the garden at a rented property, what are the limitations for those of us that do take pride in gardening?

Hamilton Fraser Insurance says: “If the tenant wishes to change the garden in any way (even making improvements), they are required by law to gain the landlord’s approval beforehand – this also includes planting their own garden.

“Failure to do so could allow the landlord to charge the tenant the cost of returning the garden to its original state.”

Putting your personal stamp on a rented property is easily done with the right materials and furnishings, which can be easily moved onto your next home.

Temporary decking

Garden decking is one of the simplest and most sought after designs for British gardens.

Offering a designated seating area and a neat landscape, wooden decking is the ideal solution to livening up any tired looking outdoor space.

While most decking solutions are permanent design features, there is one temporary alternative that could match the quality finish of a timber deck.

Speaking to, Lee Cavalier, Decking Product Manager at Dura Composites said: “Composite decking tiles are a great way for renters to enjoy decking.

“Unlike traditional boards, these interlocking tiles can be quickly and easily laid on top of any flat, level surface to create instant decking that can be used straight away.

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Not only are these easy-fit tiles the perfect instant fix for a dull garden, but they can be taken off just as easily.

Lee added: “There’s no need for a base frame, no screws, nails or bonds involved, and they can even be installed by those without any DIY skills at all.

“These small, lightweight decking tiles can be swiftly removed and moved around the garden to create a new design, or simply taken up when the time comes to move on from the property.”

Composite decking tiles can even be used to put your own stamp on other rented spaces, such as:

  • An existing patio
  • Balcony space
  • Outdoor courtyard

Outdoor furnishings

If you are not keen on an existing patio or paved area in your garden, there is one simple furnishing that could transform the entire space.

Creating a cosy seating area doesn’t have to cost a fortune or be a permanent structure, it could be as easy as adding a rug.

Homescapes furnishing expert, Joanne Evans told “An affordable way to style and transform a space is a quick and easy colour change.

“Whether it’s injecting a burst of colour or moving with the trends and adding cushions and throws to your garden, this quick style up is an instant transformation that won’t break the bank!”

Outdoor rugs are the perfect durable solution for a cosy outdoor living space, made with recycled, reversible and easy to clean materials.

Invest in potted plants

A few potted plants can transform a concrete space into a vibrant oasis without changing the landscape.

Opt for two-tone pots and use contrasting colours to add more life to your rented garden.

Gardeners’ World recommends coreopsis, cosmos, ‘Busy Lizzies’, clematis and ivy as their top picks for garden pots.

Top furnishing tips for a rented garden:

  • Invest in fold-away seating and garden dining furniture for easy removal
  • Mix colourful cushions, throws and rugs for an instant splash of colour while relaxing in your garden
  • Make use of LED outdoor lights to brighten up your garden at night
  • Make use of pots of all sizes for more variety in your plants
  • Consider making your own mobile planters out of wooden pallets and old containers

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