Keep It Simple, Keep It Green -- Tips For Landscaping Your Rental Unit

As a landlord, you want to maximize your rental income potential while minimizing trouble and expenses. Landscaping your rental units can be difficult because it's hard to find ways to accomplish both goals. Here are 5 tips to help you create landscapes that are attractive as well as simple.

Focus on Curb Appeal

Prospective tenants will often make their decision as soon as they see the rental unit, so put a lot of your money and time into creating a beautiful entrance and front yard. Choose hardy but low-maintenance plants such as lavender, roses or daylilies, but keep them trimmed back and under control. Throw in some color – petunias, zinnias or geraniums bring reliable color with little maintenance. Add a nice brick, stamped concrete or stone walkway and attractive front door with good lighting. Curb appeal doesn't have to cost a lot, but it always adds a lot.

Go Native

Native plants will require less maintenance and water, so consult with your landscaper or nearby nurseries to find plants that will thrive in the local climate. Avoid exotic plants that need careful upkeep and be sure to avoid anything potentially poisonous, sappy or thorny.

Use Hardscapes

Hardscape – rocks, patios and other non-living yard décor – will be easier to maintain for both you and your renters. While you don't want to rip up all the grass and plants in the yard, keep in mind that patios, walkways and outbuildings will require less maintenance while helping to keep tenants off the grass and allowing them to personalize the space without damaging your yard.

Irrigate the Yard

Relying on tenants to water regularly may be a constant battle for a landlord. If your rentals are far from home, it can be a lost cause since you can't monitor the situation in the yard. To help protect your grass, trees and plants, install an irrigation system that keeps the yard in good shape. A drip system for garden beds, bushes or trees can help save water and time as well. Just be sure to schedule blow-outs to remove all the water in the system before winter freezes.

Provide Space for Different Uses

Some tenants will want to use the backyard for different purposes. Fighting them on everything will drain your energy and time. Instead, plan ahead for tenants' needs by making it part of your landscape design. Install a raised garden bed or two along an unused (but sunny) side of the backyard so tenants can plant flowers or raise vegetables if they want. If you allow pets, consider fencing off a portion of the backyard for the exclusive use of renters' family dogs – saving your lawn and garden beds from destruction.

Properly landscaping your rental home will help increase its attractiveness to new renters and keep those renters happy once they've moved in. And choosing wisely will also keep your wallet happy. Visit Master Landscape to get started on making your ideas come to life.