Rental Property Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts

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Landlords have a lot on their plates.  They have to market their rental properties, screen potential tenants, handle emergencies and deal with tenant issues.  But still, curb appeal is a crucial part of finding desirable tenants.
We have all heard about the importance of first impressions.  First impressions can make or break your rental investment.  Proper landscaping forms an integral part of an investment property’s appearance and character, says Paramount Management & Realty.
In today’s post, we’ll share with you things to do and not to do when landscaping your rental property.
Do’s
1. Understand the law.
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Your state, township or county may have restrictions on the amount of area you can, for instance, hardscape.  This is particularly true if you are looking to install an outdoor kitchen, pool or patio.
As such, prior to beginning any project, first understand what the local ordinances say about such a project.  And while at it, you may also want to check your HOA rules as well.
2. Designate a section of the lawn for pets.
America is a nation of pet lovers.  In fact, data from the American Pet Products Association (APPA) shows that 67% of U.S. households own a pet. For this reason, obviously, more and more landlords are allowing tenants to keep their furry friends.
If you do allow them already, then seriously consider setting a section of the lawn for tenants’ pets.  You can mark the area by using a few pieces of timber or by simply erecting a fence.
And because you want to make it easy for your tenants to scoop their pet’s poo, cover the area using pea gravel or sand pebbles.  Using bigger stones isn’t recommended as they may hurt the paws of pets.
3. Keep the theme neutral.
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Different people have different tastes.  That’s why you need to depersonalize your rental in order for it to appease the tastes of different people.
So, stick with popular accents and native plants.
4. Go native.
When shopping for plants and trees, stick with flora native to your area.  Planting native plants come with a host of many benefits.  First and foremost, they require far less water.  This will save your tenant’s time, money, and of course, water – the most valuable natural resource.
Secondly, native plants don’t need as much fertilizers or pesticides.  And thirdly, native plants provide a natural habitat for butterflies, birds and other wildlife.
5. Keep your yard simple and low maintenance.
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You want to use environmentally friendly landscaping designs.  This will benefit you in two ways.  One, it will provide your tenants with a simple yet beautiful yard, and two, it will help conserve the environment.
So, how do you achieve a simple-to-maintain yard?  Well, you can opt for groundcover instead of planting grass.  Groundcover is any plant that grows over an area of ground.  It protects the topsoil from erosion and drought.
Groundcover requires no mowing, pesticides, fertilizers or copious amounts of water.  Natural rainfall will usually suffice.
Another way is to plant rain gardens.  A rain garden is a shallow, constructed depression that’s planted with native plants and grasses that are deep-rooted.  It’s a cost-effective yet beautiful way to minimize runoff from a property.
Creating a rain garden is simple.  You just need to make use of native, flood-resistant plants and loosely packed, deep soils.
Don’ts
1. Stick to one layout.
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Unlike structures, with plants, you can replace and move them quite inexpensively without taking spending too much time.  As such, be free to experiment with different structures, colors and the overall look until you find a winning layout.
2. Make it too personal.
As already aforementioned, keep the theme neutral.  Remember, you won’t be living there, your tenant will.  As such, your goal should be to ensure the yard appeals to as many people as possible.
One way to depersonalize your space is to avoid bright colors as much as you can.  Your best bet is to go neutral when it comes to colors.  Choose colors such as white, black, gray, silver, shades of brown, and of course, green.
3. Focus only on quantity.
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Many landlords usually go wrong in this regard.  They focus on quantity and not quality.  It’s wrong! Sure, everyone likes to see a beautiful yard.  However, they forget the maintenance aspect.
If the landscape looks too much to care for, it may a turn off for prospective tenants.  Also, too much pavement, for example, could lead to runoff issues when it rains.
4. Pave over.
People generally appreciate greenery more.  As such, go slow when it comes to paving over.  In addition, paving over retains a lot of rainwater and this may contribute to pollution and flooding.
In fact, over paving is the reason why most municipalities have restrictions in this regard.
To sum, think local and natural, and focus on quality rather than getting a bunch of things done.  If you still need more help, please consider hiring a professional landscape and lawn care services.
For more great tips, please check our our landscaping blog at azlawns.com/blog

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