For a landlord, landscaping isn't usually the top priority. There are always more urgent tasks at hand. Still, curb appeal is an important part of finding high-quality tenants, and first impressions last. Proper landscaping forms an integral part of a rental property's character and appearance. In this post, Century 21 takes a closer look at the main features you should keep in mind when doing rental property landscaping.
DO: Fertilize your plants
If you have anything growing in the garden, it should be fertilized. For grass, you should use a lawn fertilizer that can be spread using the sprinkler system once every six months. Bushes, flowers, and trees need manure and mulch at a minimum of once per year in order to reach their full growth potential.
DON'T: Allow your lawn to become overgrown
Feel like landscaping is a pointless chore? If there's just one thing you're going to do in your landscape it should be mowing the lawn on a weekly basis. While this is one of the simplest tasks you can do in your yard, it will provide tremendous value to the property. In part, it's a matter of psychology. Unkempt lawns can make the whole property (façade and all) look cheaper and uglier to prospective tenants.
DO: Think local and natural
Landlords often utilize foreign flora and materials in their yards. While these may look and feel impressive to you, you are better off with local plant types. Using local varieties ensures healthier growth without the need for strong chemical intervention. Also, in the long run, it will be more economical. When the plants grow by themselves, you'll spend less money on replacement and artificial fertilizers. So if your property is in a region famous for roses, don't try to plant orange trees.
DON'T: Opt for cheap lawn art
If you feel tempted to put some garden gnomes outside, have another thought. Lawn art should be done with a wider vision, taste, and sense for the context. There's nothing wrong with having gnomes in your garden, but they should fit your particular design.
You don't have to be a garden design guru to get the feeling that some lawn art is just out of place and unnecessary. You don't need to order a whole set of statues or make a huge plan for hedge art either. Sometimes a simple nudge in the right direction will do just fine. As a bonus, it's always a good idea to consult a landscape artist on how to make your lawn aesthetically pleasing.
DO: Make it curvy
In recent years, adding curves to a landscape has been a trend gaining much traction. Sometimes just shaping the flowerbeds to add a little more curve can make a dramatic difference to the overall look of the property.
Usually, it's best to hire a professional landscaping expert for shaping and you'll find that having them on board will make the process a lot smoother. In some cases, you'll be able to reshape the driveway and sidewalk structures yourself. Take it as a rental property investment for the years to come. Once it's installed, just a bit of monthly maintenance will keep your property looking stellar.
Don't: Make it too personal
If your whole property isn't an art project in the making, then there's no need to make the landscaping style too personal. Don't forget that it's a rental property, which means that there's a high likelihood of multiple families living there over the years.
Using niche decor or out-of-the-box landscaping plans might look cool, but could make some potential tenants shy away from the property. Stick to neutral designs that would please almost anybody.
DO: Focus on the quality, not the quantity
Once you really start digging into your landscape, you may discover that there's more work than you could DIY in your whole lifetime. Some landlords even go way overboard with all sorts of landscaping solutions. There's no need to rely on quantity. Having just one or two landscaping jobs of the highest quality beats ordering ten lawn solutions that are just average.
What do you need to know about rental property landscaping?
As a landlord, it's very easy to ignore your property's landscaping. There's always something more pressing and important on the to-do list. But in reality, you should focus on the landscaping too. Curb appeal will be a part of many potential tenants' renting decisions.
Many of these landscaping activities are quite simple and routine. Mow the lawn, keep the rain gutters free of leaves and debris while not forgetting to fertilize the plants as well.
Remember: focus on quality rather than getting a bunch of things done, think local and natural, and don't make your landscaping a niche art project if it doesn't fit into your vision of the whole property. Finally, stay clear of cheap lawn art. It's overused and won't do any good in turning interested people into actual tenants.