Lawn Care for Rental Homes
When working on your rental property, pay attention to the lawn. It’s one of the main aspects of curb appeal, so you want to make sure it looks good and is well taken care of. What goes into good home lawn care anyway? How can you make it look as attractive to renters as possible? What do you need to do to make your rental property’s lawn the envy of the neighborhood? Read on to find out.
Compare to nearby properties
Your biggest competition is the rest of your neighborhood, so take a look around the block. You don’t need to have the biggest and grandest lawn of them all; just see what you're up against and aim to have a more maintained lawn than most of your neighbors. Take notes on what looks good and what doesn’t before making final decisions on what you want to focus on changing.
Listen to the professionals
You’re (probably) not going to do the landscaping work yourself, meaning you'll need to hire some professionals. When you meet with them for a consultation, ask what they think would make the property look best. They're the experts and do this for a living, so they should have good advice. Beware of any obvious upselling, but take their advice that's reasonable.
Keep trees from growing too much
Trees are nice to have in the front yard, but you'll want to make sure the house can still be seen. Make sure they aren't too large. When in doubt, bushes planted close to the front of the house usually are a solid option and easier to control. Maintenance will likely be required, so be prepared to put in the effort or hire someone to handle this.
Walkways should have grass/plants
Any paths to the house, whether from the sidewalk to the front door or the porch to the back door, should be lined with taller grass and/or plants. As simple as this sounds, it makes a big visual difference.
Add a water feature
This can depend a lot on the house itself and might be best in the backyard, but a fountain or other water feature can really make your property stand out. It’s also a point of pride for renters — even though they didn’t put the fountain in themselves, it’s a great thing to show off when friends and family come to visit.
Don’t overshadow the house itself
It’s easy to get carried away — there are many landscaping upgrades you can make to your property. Just keep in mind that the house itself is where renters will spend most of their time and the main factor in determining whether they decide to rent from you or not. If you only focus on landscaping and not on the house itself, your priorities are in the wrong order. A beautiful lawn should be an added bonus of the house, not more important.
Make arrangements for it to be maintained
It’s one thing to have lawn work done initially; it's another to keep it maintained. In the lease, you should spell out whether you or the tenant is responsible for keeping the lawn up to par. Whichever you choose is up to you (but may depend on local laws/regulations) and should be explained clearly so there’s no confusion regarding who is on the hook. If you decide to hold responsibility, the landscapers who helped create it are a good resource to use for maintenance.
Do you have any more lawn care tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments!