If you’ve got your house itself up and running making some extra money, then it’s time to turn your attention to the outside.
You might be lucky enough to have a decent-sized garden, but no time or inclination to do much with it. Well, the good news is that there are thousands of people out there in exactly the opposite situation – just brimming with get-up-and-go, time and know-how, but nowhere to go to ground!
Renting out all or part of your garden as allotments is fast becoming the new trend, and it’s easy to see why – you get your garden looked after for free, and potentially a bit of cash or some armfuls of fruit and veg into the bargain. The person renting gets the use of some land to spread their horticultural wings in a pleasant, private environment. Depending on whereabouts in the country you live, waiting for an ‘official’ allotment could take several years, and many people are very happy to settle for a quick, private alternative.
How to go about it
Start by looking at the practicalities. Mark off the section of garden you’d like to rent out with pegs and string, and spend a few days living with it. Will you feel overlooked? Will the section you’ve chosen interfere with your own access in any way? Ideally, choose a portion of the garden that has its own access, such as an outside gate, so that your renter can come and go as they please. They’ll also need easy to water, so you might need to consider installing a water butt and refilling it regularly.
If you’re planning to let out more than one plot, you’ll need to work out how each person will access their own area.
Ideally, tenants will also appreciate somewhere safe and lockable to store tools.
How to find tenants
Getting in touch with your local gardening society or putting up notices on local boards will help prospective gardeners find you. You could also consider advertising on local Facebook groups, or on advert sites such as Gumtree.
The legal bits
Even if your tenants are people you know well, you still really need to draw up a contract. Otherwise, you may find that your gardeners have planted a 15-foot conifer hedge, taken to moonlit weeding or installed a bouncy castle! Just draw up a simple set of rules about when and how the garden can be used.
You can download a free copy of the Land Partnership handbook from the Fresh Start Land Enterprise Centre, which has lots of advice about how to manage sharing your land.
It’s also a good idea to check with your home insurance providers and inform them other people will be using the property.
How much can I earn from renting out my garden?
To be honest, you’re unlikely to be flying off on an all-expenses-paid holiday to the Seychelles just from renting out your garden. A council allotment costs in the region of £50 to £100 or so a year, depending on the area you live in. Private renters will sometimes pay more, especially if there’s a very long list for council allotments.
There are two big bonuses, however – you may be able to negotiate a good supply of free fruit, veg and flowers, and you won’t have to pay for a gardener! Employing a gardener can cost on average between £13 and £22, depending on where you are in the country, so renting out your garden could save you several hundred pounds a year.
Now all you have to do is sit back, relax, and look forward to a fruitful summer.
(Image credits: Pixabay)