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Want to encourage sustainability, make some cash, and maybe even get to know a few like-minded new people in the process? Rent your garden as allotments!
There are loads of benefits to renting your garden out: you can make a bit of cash, get the garden sorted (with no effort on your part), and potentially have free fruit and veg through the year.
If you have a big garden and no time (or interest) to keep it going, making some extra cash renting it out to one of the many people who want an allotment and can’t create their own is a great idea. Here’s how to do it.
Firstly, you need to have enough space to feel comfortable giving a proportion of it away. You can choose to make as much of your garden as you want into allotments, but before you do, try listing all the things that you use your garden for. This will give you an idea of how much space you actually need.
Access is also a big issue. It is much more practical for people to be able to have access directly to your garden, rather than traipsing through your house all the time. If you do not have a side gate, think about whether you will be comfortable with your tenants accessing their plots through your home, or if you can provide any alternative access.
Once you’ve decided how much to charge in rent and arranged access, get started with these four easy steps.
Mark off a part of the garden that you are happy to rent out and divide it into points. Ideally you’ll have a gate or access point close to this part of the garden.
Make sure the access point to your garden is relatively secure – a solid gate that locks is a very good idea. Make sure you put up all the relevant contact details on the gate.That way your tenants always have a way to contact you, and anyone seeking a plot can enquire and you’ll potential gain more business.
Let it be known around your area that there are plots up for rent.
You can do this through word-of-mouth, or by putting up an advert in your local newsagent or shop window. Your local library is another good place to advertise
Don’t forget the internet, either. Posting an ad on Gumtree for your local area will mean thousands of people get a look at it.
Now just wait for the calls or emails to come in.
Once you’ve found someone who wants to use your garden, make sure you draw up a basic contract for all potential tenants to sign.
This doesn’t have to be anything complex, just some straightforward rules stating exactly when the garden can be used, and for what purposes. Include the amount of rent you’ll charge in the contract, too.
For loads more help and advice on exactly how to do this, get in touch with the National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners. They also have lots of great advice for potential allotment landlords.
It’s also worth looking at the Local Government Associations’s Growing in the Community (second edition) guide. The guide sets out best practice for those managing allotments.
OK, so it’s not going to make you a fortune; we’re really talking pocket money. On average, allotments in Britain cost between £10 and £70 a year, depending where you are in the country.
Usually, a price is allocated per “rod”, which is a certain number of sq metres – usually around 25. Prices vary, but we can offer a few examples from various councils as a guide:
As a private allotment landlord with three or four plots, you could make a few hundred pounds per year. You might also be entitled to free fruit and veg, if you’ve negotiated that with your tenants.
It’s also a fairly certain source of income. Demand is massive, and so if you get your offer out there, you’ll probably find that people will be very quick to take it up.
Council waiting lists are years long and loads of people are looking for ways to get their green thumbs back into practice.
In London, many boroughs have waiting lists that can include hundreds of people and take years to reach the top of. This means more money for you: as the demand is so high, you can afford to charge more and still be confident in finding keen tenants.
Obviously you should be happy to have a fair few people traipsing through your garden on a regular basis, but remember that there’s always a chance you’ll get the occasional gift of some hearty, organic fruit and vegetables to make up for it.
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Wish I had a garden big enough!
Would you need planning permission for ‘change of use’ before turning part/all of your garden into an allotment(s) for others?
These allotments are great guys! Well done, you must have worked pretty long and hard to get it this way.
I just wanted to say thanks for writing this post. I was reading up about this last week- you’re post has clarified a number of questions I couldn’t find elsewhere- thanks!
Good question Rita, I’m putting it out to the Forum to see if anyone there has a view on it. Jasmine
Hi we think we can offer between 10 – 20 Allotments for private rent. We do not want to rip anyone off, but we are as destitute as the next person. What would be the most we could ask per year? Running water always available, toilet available, parking and good access to plots, very secure neighbourhood (small hamlet, within valley, within a valley), lots of manure nearby and communal compost heap. tenants welcome to erect small sheds on plots, polytunnels no problem. No pets to accompany tenants, although they could keep animals on the plot eg chickens etc. look forward… Read more »
hi there would like to enquire about an alloments could you get back to me please