4 Landscaping Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Landlords

August 6th, 2014

Property Maintenance

When you bought the property and the rent started rolling in, you didn’t realize that this landlord thing was going to be so much work. You are constantly calling your property manager to take care of that leaky faucet, flickering light, or broken door.

And that’s just the beginning. Not only do you have a building and tenants to care for, you have green space to maintain. A well-cared for yard, no matter the size, increases curb-appeal exponentially. And curb-appeal attracts the kind of tenants you want to keep around for a while.

These hacks will help you get the most out of your landscaping with a minimum of time and effort.

A lease agreement will keep everyone on track and minimize legal disputes should they arise. Don’t become a landlord without one.

Hack #1—Go for Some Detail

Finishing the concrete pathway off with a stamp or adding some pavers can make a world of difference. It communicates that you pay attention to the small things—something that tenants appreciate in the landscaping and in how you take care of them.

Add a picket fence or planter boxes to stand out from the crowd. Put in a few solar-powered pathway lights for some nighttime ambiance. Install a small birdbath or park bench to invite guests to enjoy the landscaping you’ve meticulously designed. You’ll get a lot of mileage out of some little details that take hardly any time, but keep on giving.

Hack #2—Plant Low Maintenance Greenery

It doesn’t take a lot of plants to give your property a facelift. Well-designed plans only need a masterful stroke of color among some perennial greenery to gain curb-appeal bonus points.

Select plants that do well throughout the growing season and require little maintenance. Ask your property manager to install plants that do well in Pasadena’s climate and don’t need much extra care. Drought-tolerant plants are a good pick since they do well both when Pasadena is in a wet season or a dry spell.

Hack #3—Create Privacy with the Landscaping

If your property is in a densely populated area, a little privacy adds huge appeal to your property. Select trees that will provide shade and privacy but won’t interfere with power lines or other utilities.
Hedges instead of chain link fences screen your tenants visually and provide a bit of noise control as well. Pick one that will grow quickly but be easily tamed.

Hack #4—Let Tenants Participate

Use your landscaping space to grow something your tenants can enjoy harvesting. Fruit vines like grapes or blackberries grow back year after year, require little work, and make great privacy shields. Fruit trees provide shade and a yummy treat come September.

Pasadena landscapers love nut or fruit trees alongside the usual shade trees. Try artichokes instead of shrubs and grapes or berries instead of hedges and your tenants won’t be able to help themselves.

Some tenants look specifically for an apartment that gives them a small garden spot. The ability to grow a vegetable or flower garden is one that most renters don’t get to have. If you can spare the space, turn some of your landscape over to your tenants.