Whether you're a new landlord or just adding to your inventory, installing the right landscaping for your rental unit is key to attracting good tenants and maintaining higher rental prices. It can also make your life easier all around. Want to know how? Here are five top tips for any rental unit.
Hire a Service
Save yourself -- and your renters -- a lot of energy and stress by arranging for a landscaping service to come on a regular basis and care for the yard. Depending on your budget, this could mean hiring someone to mow the lawn and weed garden beds, or it could just mean having seasonal assistance with preparing the yard for winter or for spring.
This is especially important if you're not a local landlord, as it ensures that an outside party is keeping an eye on your property and that the lawn will be cared for when you're not around to inspect it.
Hardscaping, those parts of your landscape that are not organic, should be an important part of your overall landscape plan. Making things like covered patios or grill areas available to tenants will encourage them to congregate where you want rather than trampling your grass. Be sure to include sufficient walkways that make the yard easily accessible from the driveway, curb and entertainment areas of the backyard.
Hardscape doesn't just mean concrete, though. It includes boulders, river-rock beds, retaining walls and sheds. Attractive hardscaping can often be a solution to various yard problems. Have a spot in the yard that gets too much sun and is always dry? Add pea gravel and a bubbling water feature to create a cozy backdrop. Have a shady area that is always soggy or growing mildew? Put down pavers and a bench to turn it into a reading nook. Have a slope in the backyard? Try a retaining wall or an alpine rock garden to reduce maintenance.
Keep It Local
Trendy, exotic or tropical plants may look nice, but they will add to your headaches and cost more money. Why? Local, native plants and trees are more likely to thrive in your own climate, and that means they will generally need less watering, less weeding and lower maintenance. For an added bonus, look for local annuals and bulbs that come back each year without being replanted. To find out what plants will work best in your area, talk with a nursery or local landscaping company.
If you want a rental unit that looks neat and tidy, don't spend your time fighting with tenants about their stuff. Add extra storage instead. Add some storage elements, such as bench seating with a built-in compartment for cushions, to the patio or outdoor cooking area. Hooks placed on the wall or under a patio roof can hold bicycles or sports equipment. And a small shed for gardening equipment can help encourage tenants to take care of the yard when you're not there.
Provide Outdoor Entertainment
Including outdoor activities in your landscape design adds features that will help attract good tenants. Something as simple as a grill, lighting or a fire pit is an inexpensive way to spice up a basic patio. Installing a kids' play area helps keep kids entertained without destroying your yard. And many modern renters will appreciate an above-ground gardening plot placed in a sunny location. These elements are easy to include and often provide a high rate of return on your investment.
Implementing these basic guidelines will get you started on creating a low maintenance and appealing yard design for your rental. If you need help with specific aspects of your property, talk with the experts at SuperiorScape, Inc., today.