Landscaping maintenance decisions is probably one of the more difficult decisions rental property owners must make. Many Portsmouth property owners assume that their tenants will be responsible for keeping the yard in good order. However, that might not always be the best course of action.
There are both pros and cons to assigning landscape maintenance to your tenant. Comparably, there are also pros and cons of taking care of it yourself (or hiring someone to do it for you). Taking a closer look at the responsibility of landscaping maintenance from both sides can help you decide on the best way to address your landscaping needs.
As the property owner, the simplest way to ensure property maintenance is getting done correctly is to hire a professional to do it. There are clear benefits to taking this approach to landscaping maintenance for single-family rental homes. For example, you won’t need to worry that your tenants will mistreat or neglect the lawn, trees, or other plants.
When given appropriate care, your rental house will always have great curb appeal, helping you better protect your property values. Having a designated provider for landscaping maintenance for your tenant might just become a big draw, helping you attract and keep higher-quality tenants willing to pay a bit extra for the convenience. As soon as a rental property is rented, many states do not allow you to come on the property unless you give proper notice, or it is outlined in the lease agreement. Even so, it is not a good idea to handle the landscape maintenance yourself.
You should also consider that if you plan to do the yard maintenance work yourself, you’ll need the time, skills, and tools to do the job right. This would pose a big problem if you don’t live near your rental property. Also, the time you spend caring for your property’s yard might not be the best way to go about it.
Conversely, hiring a professional landscaping company will be an additional expense. If you haven’t figured landscaping maintenance costs into your initial calculations, that could put an unwanted strain on your monthly cash flows. You might also have a hard time finding a company that does quality work at lower costs. This would probably be the best part of having a property manager: they will have a list of service providers that may even do the work at a discount.
The most common way property owners deal with landscaping maintenance is to require your tenant to do it. Arrangements like this have many benefits. The tenant takes on the time and expense of mowing lawns, trimming bushes, and pulling weeds, freeing your time and money for other things. Tenants who have been renting single-family homes for many years often already have the tools and experience needed to do a decent job. They may manage to maintain your property’s yard for the duration of their stay.
However, not all tenants are willing or able to live up to landscaping responsibilities. When you assign landscape maintenance to your tenant, you do run the risk of doing serious damage to the yard. Abuse or neglect may lead to dead or dying plants. Your property could become a neighborhood eyesore. Not only that, but a corresponding reduction of your property value could also result. Keep in mind as well that if your tenants don’t already have a lawnmower or other tools, buying them could present a serious problem. Many tenants don’t want or can’t afford to invest in expensive lawn care equipment.
They may not know how to use such tools safely as well. You could end up with a situation where the tenant injures themselves, breaks or damages your landscaping equipment, or both. Any of these could become unwanted legal problems unless careful steps are taken.
Deciding on the care of your Portsmouth rental property’s landscaping will depend on your particular situation. Weigh all the pros and cons and be realistic about your availability and budget, so that you can come to an arrangement that benefits both parties.
If you need some advice on how to handle landscaping for your rental property or would like someone else to take care of it entirely, contact Real Property Management Seacoast New Hampshire. You can reach us online or call us at 603-343-2202 for more information.
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