Lovely landscaping around your rental property can help you win more attention from prospective renters. As the owner or manager of a rental with great outdoor areas, you can afford to be more selective in the kind of tenants you accept. Many renters will be happy to pay more to live in a home or work in the building if it has a well-kept yard.
But after you have gotten tenants into the property, who will be responsible for looking after the landscaping? A nice yard is that way because someone is putting a lot of work into it. Are tenants expected to maintain the landscaping, and can you trust them to do a good job? Or will you make landscape maintenance one of your responsibilities?
These are questions you want to answer before designing the landscaping or accepting any tenants into the property. Failing to address this issue up front could result in consequences that would set your business back. You may lose valuable tenants or end up hurting the property’s curb appeal and market value.
To make sure your rental property’s landscaping does not become a burden to you or your tenants, here are things to consider when planning landscaping maintenance for the property.
Table of Contents:
- Who’s Responsible for Landscape Maintenance?
- Tips to Make Rental Property Landscape Maintenance Easier
- 5 Rental Property Landscaping Ideas
>Who is responsible for landscaping maintenance in your rental?
The most important aspects of landscape maintenance include mowing, weed control, pest extermination, fertilization, trimming trees and shrubs, mulching, irrigation, and maintaining irrigation systems. Most tenants do not have the expertise or desire to do these tasks. At the same time, there are landscaping tasks for the tenants.
The key to good yard maintenance is finding a balance between what tenants should do and what the landlord/manager must do. There are no hard-and-fast rules for reaching this balance. You can work out an acceptable solution by talking with your tenants. But for most rental property operators, there are four options for maintaining a rental’s landscaping:
The Landlord Does everything:
From a financial point of view, this is the costliest option for tenants. That is because they would have to pay more in rent. But it gives the landlord or manager maximum control, and there is no chance of tenants ruining the yard. Tenants who want the opportunity to do some gardening will not like this option.
The Tenant Maintains Landscaping:
This is the most affordable option for the tenant, but not necessarily for the owner or manager. A tenant will naturally want to limit their spending to the bare necessities, and they may not have the required skills to look after the yard. This option is also hard to implement in a multi-family property, and especially in a commercial property.
Hire a Landscaping Company:
This option will also cost a tenant more. But tenants may prefer it to the landlord/manager handling landscaping maintenance. That is because they may have more room to participate in decisions on the landscaping’s management. Moreover, most tenants would rather deal with a neutral third party than the owner. Plus, this option is the best for commercial buildings and multi-family homes.
The best option for tenants and landlords is to share the maintenance responsibilities. Tenants can take care of mowing and trimming and leave the rest of the work to the owner/manager. This model gives tenants with a green thumb the chance to indulge their desires. Landlords can also make sure their landscaping is maintained as expected.
Tips to make rental property landscaping maintenance easier
Regardless of which model you choose for your rental, the property can benefit from the following landscaping ideas. The tips below will help you minimize the effort, and therefore the cost of maintaining your rental’s landscaping.
1. Minimize lawn size
Less grass means less mowing work. A smaller lawn also means you use less water for irrigation. Cutting down on labor and the cost of landscaping maintenance can make the property more attractive to potential renters.
2. Use native plants
Native plants have an adaptation to the climate of your area. They are also resistant to endemic pests and diseases. With native plants, you spend less on pesticides and fertilizers. Therefore, the cost of landscaping maintenance will be lower.
3. Plant perennials and evergreens
With perennials in the yard, you don’t have to grow new plants every year; perennials stay alive year after year. Also, plant some evergreens; these are trees and shrubs that don’t shed their leaves seasonally. The majority of them are drought-resistant.
4. Integrate hardscaping features
Hardscapes are the nonliving elements of the yard. They include features like paved walkways, patios, retaining walls, rock gardens, etc. They give character to the yard, expand the number of ways outdoors areas can be used, and make maintenance easier.
5. Control weeds with a barrier cloth
Whatever you do to prevent weeds in the yard will make the work of looking after the landscaping easier for you and the tenants. There are a few ways to do this; weed fabric and organic barrier cloth. You may also want to use mulch for this purpose.
Top 5 Rental Property Landscaping Ideas
If you decide to go the route of controlling your rental property landscaping, we have a few backyard garden landscape design ideas to help spruce up your rental property’s outdoor space. It’s actually a lot easier and much more cost effective than you might think! When looking for backyard ideas for your rental property, you want them to be low maintenance, cost effective, and consistent.
These ideas will help increase the value of your rental home while saving you time and money in the long run.
1) Low Maintenance Shrubs
The best cheap landscaping ideas don’t actually look cheap at all. You can really add curb appeal by investing in some low maintenance bushes. The Franklin’s Gem boxwood is the benchmark when considering low maintenance front yard landscaping. It is a deer, insect, and disease-resistant shrub that only requires a bit of pruning in the winter to keep appearance tidy.
These types of plants are also a great landscape idea for separating yards. If you are looking for a more floral look, turn to the Stewartstonian Azalea or the Crepe Myrtle. The bold color alone is enough to enhance your outdoor garden design, but the really impressive part is that it can handle almost any environment. Even in the colder months this shrub will add beauty with well-draining soil and partial sunlight.
Everyone always talks about the modern American home with the white picket fence, but did you know that there are inexpensive yard fences that can provide that same aesthetic?
Most fencing can cost up to $35-$55 per linear foot, but you can install an attractive front or backyard fence at a much more cost efficient price. Treated pine ranges from $12-$19 per linear foot with installation and is incredibly durable. Treated pine is also customizable and can be painted to really add a pop of color to your property.
If wood is not your thing, a wrought iron fence is another great, visually appealing option. Wrought iron is a bit more expensive at $24-$32 per linear foot, but it adds extra security while giving your property a classic revivalist look.
3) DIY Fire Pit
Some of the best backyard garden ideas can actually be created with items you can find for free around your home. Creating your own fire pit is a fun and value adding DIY project.
With some stone, a shovel, and a little bit of elbow grease you can create a fire pit that anyone would love to sit around. Just dig a decent size hole approximately 6 inches deep with a diameter of 4.5 feet. Lay some loose gravel on top for safety, then surround the area with larger stones that can easily be found on a casual walk around your local park.
After that, all you need to do is add some low cost seating like logs or camping chairs. You’ll have a beautiful fire pit that your tenants, friends, and family can sit around and enjoy.
4) Plant Mature Trees
When it comes to landscaping many people believe that planting a big beautiful flower bed will really enhance their garden. Instead, the best backyard garden ideas follow the less-is-more strategy. Flowers are delicate and need lots of maintenance.
Planting trees is a better way to landscape your yard on a budget. Trees require very little, if any, maintenance, especially if you buy more mature trees.
The American Holly is a broadleaf evergreen tree that changes colors throughout the year, adds privacy, and enhances the look of your yard. The American Dogwood is another classic that will provide you with an array of seasonal colors, and a lush canopy to keep your yard shaded.
5) Low Cost Lighting
Low cost lighting may be the best outdoor gardening idea. Outdoor lighting is sure to make your tenants prefer to be outside. You don’t need expensive landscape lighting that requires an electrician to install.
Hanging string lights are incredibly durable, easy to install, and provide a resort style level of beauty that is hard to match. A single strand can cover 50 square feet and will cost you less than $60. These lights will transcend your guests to a simpler time, and create an extremely attractive ambiance for your property.
Though you can spend a lot of money on things such as artificial turf to make your rental property’s yard maintenance simple, you don’t have to. These low cost alternatives will save you money on landscaping both in the short term and the long term!
Rental Property Yard Maintenance
Rental property yard maintenance is incredibly important for landlords as it adds value to their home and makes it more attractive to potential tenants. Considering this, many rental property owners have taken the initiative to hire a professional service for regular outdoor maintenance, such as lawn care, trimming hedges and bushes, and keeping pathways clear of unwanted debris.
It is usually wise to opt for a local business that has extensive experience in this area in order to ensure the work is being done correctly. Additionally, renters should also be aware that maintaining the yard of a rental property is an important part of lease agreements, so they should take the time to keep things tidy on their end too.
If you want help from the professionals, our team at CLC Inc. will get the job done.