A green, manicured yard can be a huge draw in for tenants. It'll evoke daydreams of summer barbecues and frolicking puppies, sitting in the garden with a good book, or picnicking with the kids on the lawn. The benefits of having a nice yard are easy to see, however it's important to set the expectation for prospective tenants that a yard is also a responsibility that requires maintenance.
We compiled some tricks for you to help keep your tenants motivated-- and hold them accountable-- to care for your rental property's yard.
Write yard maintenance into your lease. Research best practices in your area or consult a legal professional to make sure your lease puts a reasonable amount of responsibility onto your tenant to keep the yard maintained and healthy. For example, consider adding a Self-Service Lawn Care Agreement or other wording specific to their responsibilities.
Create a easy to follow, simple schedule for watering, mowing, weeding, etc. throughout each season. Especially if they're new to yard maintenance or they have a black thumb, creating a straightforward guide will help give your tenants peace of mind so they don't have to guess how often to water what plants.
Install an automatic sprinkler system. This takes a lot of the daily work off of the tenant and is able to provide a more flexible option for them. Especially if your tenant likes to travel a lot, having an automated system that keeps he yard green will make general yard maintenance less of a chore.
Hire a gardener to keep the weeds whacked, the hedges pruned, and the flower beds fertilized. Even if you put your tenants in charge of regular watering and the gardener comes once or twice a month to keep up on more laborious maintenance, you can have peace of mind that the yard is being cared for. Plus-- replacing the lawn and hedges and trees if they die is a costly task, so you may just save money in the long run by staying on top of upkeep. Sometimes, it pays to just have it done right the first time. (Plus, you can account for the cost of the gardener in the rent!)
If all else fails and the yard turns brown, you can enforce pulling from their security deposit to replace what needs replacing in the yard. (Of course, check your lease and consult a legal professional to make sure it is within your Agreement to do this!)
Finally, if you're struggling to find a tenant who is willing to take care of the yard and you need to find a one faster, sign up for Showdigs. We connect your prospective tenants to a licensed real estate agent who can show them the property on-demand.