Top Landscaping Tips for Rental Properties
Reviewed By: Pete Evering
One of the worst mistakes you can make as a property owner is ignoring the outside of your rental property. The exterior of a property has a huge impact on curb appeal and desirability to renters, and these things directly relate to the value of the property. Neglecting a property’s outside space can also lead to bigger issues like pest infestations.
That being said, lawn care and maintenance can be overwhelming, and there’s already a lot on your plate as a landlord. The best thing you can do is hire a property management company to handle tasks like lawn care. At Utopia Management, our experts know the best lawn care strategies depending on your property and your needs, and we have strong relationships with local landscaping companies for reliable service at better prices. However, if you want to do your own landscaping, here are some of the best techniques to keep it low maintenance and optimized for tenants:
Simplicity is Your Friend
Reducing the amount of lawn maintenance required will be easier and cost-effective in the long run. There are many landscaping tricks and designs that are simple to maintain and still look beautiful. This can also help you conserve water and make your property more eco-friendly.
One of these tricks is to plant a rain garden. These help reduce runoff from the property and look beautiful. Rain gardens consist of deep, loosely packed soil and flood-resistant plants to absorb excess water that gets collected on the roof and gutter system.
You can also minimize the amount of grass if there are no HOA regulations or local ordinances on lawn care. Grass requires a lot of water and regular upkeep; common alternatives include mulch, decorative rocks, or groundcover plants. The latter two can be combined to create unique designs and beautiful pathways. This technique not only saves you time and money, but makes for an eye-catching outdoor space.
Stick to Neutral, Native Plants
When it comes to the theme of your lawn, you don’t want to get too crazy. You want to attract all kinds of tenants, so go with a neutral theme that appeals to a wide audience. This usually consists of well-known native plants.
It’s also a good idea to plant native flora because these species are best suited for the local climate and soil types. This means they require less fertilizer and pesticides, in addition to preserving local biodiversity. As an added bonus, they also are more likely to provide a habitat for native birds and butterflies.
Don’t Forget About Shade
Keep the amount of shade in mind as you design the landscape. It’s important to consider which areas will be shady and which will be sunlit. Having both is important; think about which plants might need direct sunlight, and how the patios or seating areas will be covered through the different seasons.
Make a Section for Pets
If your property allows dogs then you should dedicate an area of the lawn for pets. You can fence it off or simply mark it with timber or stones. Fill this area with pea gravel or sand pebbles to make cleanup simple and prevent grass and plants from getting urine burn.
One of the biggest landscaping mistakes you can make is paving too much of the yard. Over-paving leads to runoff issues and isn’t as pleasant on the eyes. Tenants appreciate some greenery, so don’t overdo it with pavement.
This is especially important if you have an installment like a pool, hot tub, or fire pit in the backyard. Keep the size of installments and pathways limited to allow for plants, shrubs, and trees that add scenery.
Disclose Lawn Care Responsibilities
It’s important to clearly disclose the lawn care responsibilities in the lease, especially if lawn care is the tenant’s responsibility. If you choose to make the tenant responsible, it is highly recommended to choose a landscaping company that understands the needs of your property and simply include the cost in the utility bill. As stated before, lawn care can be overwhelming and most tenants don’t want to have that responsibility.
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