As an owner, you are only earning money if your properties are occupied. If your property is just sitting on the market, you are losing out on valuable income. One way to make sure that your property is not only noticed but sought after by qualified residents is by landscaping your rental property. Investing some time and money in low-maintenance landscaping can increase the number of qualified candidates who are interested in your properties.
The Best Landscaping for Rental Properties Begins with Curb Appeal
Improving your curb appeal is a great way to make a positive first impression. Make sure that you are staying on top of yard maintenance and use a few simple tricks to freshen up the landscape. Consider adding fresh mulch around trees and in flower beds. You can also plant some perennials that will add some color and texture to the landscape and keep your garden looking great every year.
The best place to focus on for maximum effect is the entryway. Remember that people are naturally drawn to symmetry, so be sure to take this into account with your landscaping decisions. Adding plants to each side of the walkway will create a focal point and a warm welcome. Potted plants on either side of the door are another easy way to improve appearances and provide symmetry. Even replacing an old mailbox and/or painting the front door for a pop of color can improve the overall look and feel of the property.
Factors to Consider when landscaping for Rental Properties
There are a few other considerations you will want to take as you landscape your rental properties.
- Keep it simple. It is always a good idea to create a simple, eco-friendly landscape. You want to avoid sensitive plants that require a lot of attention and think about planting a ground cover instead of grass to cut back on mowing. Also, look for options that are drought resistant so that you can also keep utility bills low.
- Invest in local plants and shrubs. Native flora will thrive in your local environment. You will spend less time and money on maintenance and you won’t have to worry about replacing failed flowers and shrubs. In addition, native plants will attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife for a healthier ecosystem.
- Choose a neutral theme. While you are free to get creative and express yourself with your personal landscape, when it comes to rental properties, you will want to keep things neutral so that the landscape has a universal appeal.
- Do some research. At the very least, read the plant tags so that you understand how much sunlight and water different plants require. Paying attention to these details will help ensure a healthy landscape.
- Look into local ordinances. This is especially important if you plan on adding any hardscape items, such as a patio or firepit. There may be certain restrictions on what you are allowed to do with the landscape and you will want to make sure that you are adhering to all local regulations.
Cheap Landscaping Ideas for Rental Properties
Landscaping projects can quickly add up, but there are affordable plants and materials that will offer a great return on your investment.
- Mulch is a simple and cost-effective way to dress up a landscape and keep weeds at bay. Oftentimes, you can find mulch for free, making it an extremely cheap landscaping solution.
- Perennials will return each year. Hostas, lavender, and hydrangeas are all examples of perennials that will add color and interest to a landscape.
- Purchasing more mature trees is expensive, but saplings are affordable. It may be a while before they make a significant impact on the landscape, but they can be worth the wait, especially for the price.
- Instead of paying to have outdoor lighting hardwired, you can illuminate the landscape with solar lights that are simple to stake into the ground. Not only will lighting add some sophistication to the landscape but it will improve safety and security.
Can You Write off Landscaping on a Rental Property?
Owning and maintaining rental properties can come with a lot of expenses. Fortunately, many of these are tax-deductible. For example, any travel expenses that are incurred while visiting properties and meeting with residents can be deducted. Landscaping and lawn care costs can also be eligible for deduction for people who work out of a home office or own rental properties.
Your landscaping essentially serves as a “calling card” or inadvertent advertisement for your rental property business. This makes landscaping an essential tool in recruiting residents and avoiding vacancies. For these reasons, all rental property maintenance expenses are tax-deductible. Investing in your landscape will allow you to both attract residents and save you money during tax season.
Landscaping Rental Property Can be Tough but is Often Worth It
If you own and rent several properties, landscaping is just another item to add to your to-do list. However, investing time and money in landscaping will provide great returns, making it well worth the effort. Landscaping is just like any other home maintenance. Homes or buildings with peeling paint and cracked windows won’t bring in long-term residents who treat the property like their own. The same goes with landscaping.
Fortunately, when it comes to rental property landscaping, a little can go a long way. Simply adding some pavers to create a distinct walkway or planting some native shrubs can improve curb appeal and make the property look well cared for. These efforts will directly translate into more rental applications from qualified candidates. You won’t have to deal with the expense of vacant properties and your landlord business will be on the path to success.
For additional landscaping ideas and suggestions and help with all your property management needs, contact the experienced team at Deca Property Management. We have a long history of providing owners throughout the St. Louis, Missouri, area with the services and support they need to run a profitable rental property business.