In many ways, the responsibilities of landlords and tenants are pretty obvious. As a property owner, you’re expected to provide and maintain a safe and habitable home. Your tenants are expected to pay the rent on time every month.
What about the landscaping?
This is a responsibility that’s not universally assigned when it comes to managing Memphis rental homes. You can certainly ask your tenants to be responsible for the landscaping. However, there’s a chance they won’t maintain the lawn and the outdoor space the way you would. You’ll have to decide if you’re okay with that.
We recommend hiring a landscaping service and then including the cost in your rental amount. It covers all the bases; you know you’ll have your lawn well-maintained, and your tenants won’t have to worry about it.
That’s not the only way, however, and often the best solution to your Memphis rental property’s landscaping needs will depend on the type of home you’re renting out and the tenants to whom you are renting.
Let’s take a look at your options.
Hiring a Landscaping Service
The easiest solution for many rental property owners is to hire someone to take care of the landscaping and the lawn mowing. Typically, you can hire a local company that will take care of snow and ice in the winter as well. We don’t get a lot of frozen precipitation in Memphis, but you don’t want tenants slipping on driveways and steps as they’re coming and going from their home.
When you hire professionals to take care of your property’s yard, trees, and bushes, you’re investing in high quality work, and the responsibility does not fall on your tenant. You can be sure that the lawn will be mowed and kept healthy, which is good for your curb appeal and your property value.
When it comes to costs, you have a couple of different options.
- You can include the service and pay for it yourself. This can be a powerful tool in your rental marketing. When you list your property, you can advertise that landscaping is included and paid for by the owner. It will get a good tenant’s attention and set your property apart from many of the other competing properties for rent in Memphis.
- You can have the tenants pay for the landscaping service. This is not necessarily something you have to advertise. Hire your landscaping team, and add the monthly cost to the amount of rent you’re charging. The tenants are not necessarily receiving a bill in this case, but they are paying for the professional service indirectly, through your rental amount. The risk here is that your rent might be slightly higher than some of the competing properties.
- You can share the cost of the landscaping. Include a partial amount of what you pay in the rent, so you can keep your rental value competitive while still covering some of the cost of your professional landscaping services.
This option will work especially well if you have a single-family home for rent in Memphis. With multifamily or even commercial properties, we usually recommend including the landscaping for your tenants and paying for it yourself. It can get tricky to divide up both responsibilities and costs when you have multiple tenants.
Asking Memphis Tenants to Take Care of Landscaping
Sometimes, it makes sense to have your tenants be responsible for the landscaping.
If you’re renting out a single-family home, you might have tenants who are eager to mow the lawn, trim the bushes, and even plant some flowers or a small garden. You’ll find there’s a population of tenants in single-family homes who are looking for the homeownership experience without actually owning a home. They like the extra space and privacy that’s provided, and they want to contribute to maintaining a home without the burdensome costs or commitments. If you find yourself such a tenant, it’s worth letting them care for the outdoor space.
Make sure the lease agreement reflects this responsibility. You’ll also want to ensure that standards are met. If the lawn begins to look overgrown or you’re noticing debris and trash all over the front yard, talk to your tenants about their landscaping responsibilities. Offer the option of having professionals take care of it.
When you leave the landscaping as a tenant responsibility, you’re also giving them the option to hire a landscaping service of their own. Maybe they don’t want to spend their weekends mowing the lawn, but they are willing to get someone to mow and mulch and weed.
HOA Considerations and Landscaping Responsibilities
Homeowner associations can be pretty fussy about the lawns in their communities. They will require that grass is kept short, they will restrict lawn furniture, and often plants and gardens have to be approved.
Violations are freely given out when the lawn gets too overgrown or weeds begin taking over a garden. Make sure your tenants are aware of the requirements when landscaping is their responsibility.
Include Lawn and Garden Responsibilities in the Lease Agreement
Whichever direction you decide to go, make sure you include the lawn and garden maintenance in your lease agreement. Be specific about how it will be handled and who is responsible for overseeing its care.
You’ll want to be absolutely sure your tenants understand how you want this handled. You don’t want your tenants to assume it’s not their responsibility and allow your home’s exterior to deteriorate, and you also don’t want your tenants to be out there with a lawn mower if you’re already paying for a professional landscaping service.
Managing the landscaping requirements of your Memphis rental home will depend on your own personal standards for how your lawn looks, the type of property you’re renting out, and the willingness of your tenants to contribute to the care and upkeep of your outdoor space.
We can make a personalized recommendation based on your rental property, so please don’t hesitate to contact us at RiverTown Realty if you have any questions about landscaping or Memphis property management.