Maintaining Curb Appeal at Your Rental Property

One of the best tips for maintaining the curb appeal at your rental property is to design with the climate in mind. Making it easy for your tenants or property management company to keep up with the yard is essential. But what, specifically, should you consider?

All the Little Things Add Up

Since the first thing potential renters see when they pull up is your property’s exterior, it needs to pack a punch. The yard and the house itself need to be inviting, not only to entice renters to apply but to increase your property’s value. Rhino Property Management recommends being mindful of your yard in order to stay competitive in the rental market. Here are some action items for maintaining curb appeal at your rental.

Install a Water Wise Yard

Whether or not you have a sprinkler system, install a water-wise lawn. Reducing a yard’s need for water makes it easier to maintain, which means it will probably look better for longer, even if it’s neglected from time to time by renters. Pro yard care experts at Lawngevity have some tips for reducing water consumption HERE, and below you’ll find some additional ways to do so.

Establish a Watering Schedule

Make the watering schedule clear with the tenants, or the property management company responsible for your yard. If you can, install an automatic timer, whether it’s for automatic sprinklers, or for a hose hooked up to an outdoor faucet. This will help tenants avoid overwatering, which hinders plant heartiness.

Watering before 10 am is a good practice for most regions, and watering less frequently for longer periods of time encourages plants to develop deeper and more efficient root systems. 

Plant Only Native Species

As tempting as it may be to go all out with your favorite plants, be sure they’re right for the location of your rental. Anything non-native will require more work, and runs a greater risk of failing to thrive. Do yourself and your tenants a favor, and stick to perennials that will reseed themselves year after year without much fuss.

Beef Up the Soil

Amending the soil at your rental property is a great way to prepare it to have a thriving yard. Adding organic matter can introduce more nutrients to your soil, helping it host a variety of vegetation that will give you the smartest looking yard on the block. 

Also, be sure to add mulch to help retain water around your plants. Depending on the aesthetic of your property, you can use shredded leaves, bark, straw, or even grass clippings.

These practices serve as building blocks for your yard; give it the resources it needs to thrive even if you can’t be the one attending to it. You could even consider hiring professionals at CKC Landscaping to help your outdoor area thrive.

Light it Up

A well-lit yard and entryway offer an inviting scene to anyone interested in or living in your rental. Even if it’s your vacation home that you visit just a few times a year, give yourself a grand welcome by adding accent lighting to your property.

Timed or Motion-Sensor Lights

Not only do lights make a house feel homier and inviting after the sun sets, but they’re an added security measure. Exterior lights that turn on at dusk, or when they sense movement, don’t have to be expensive to make an impact. Consider adding solar-powered walkway lights, wall sconces by the front door, or lights under the eaves at the sides and back of your rental home.

Upgrade Windows and Doors

Another way to add value to your home and maintain its curb appeal is to upgrade the exterior doors and windows. Not only is it like giving your home a facelift, but it can earn you energy-efficient rebates on your taxes. Additionally, consider replacing your garage door if it is outdated or in disrepair; connecting with one of the Garage Door Companies in your area can help you find the perfect substitute.

If replacements aren’t in the budget, you could opt to repaint the window trim and the doors to give them a fresh look. Also, replace any failing seals or damaged screens to get a few more years out of the windows and doors you already have. If your garage door isn’t closing all the way, a new motor and belts can ensure it’s opening and closing quietly and properly; no one likes to see a partially closed garage door from the street!

Accentuate the Address

When you’re looking for a home or business, how frustrating is it when street numbers aren’t clearly visible? You can upgrade your home’s curb appeal and increase convenience for delivery drivers by adding prominent street numbers to the exterior. Add them to the front of the house, place a decorative plaque in the yard, or have them painted on the curb.

While you’re at it, consider upgrading the mailbox, whether it’s curbside or affixed to the house. For just $100 or so, you can get a new mailbox that complements the home aesthetic while also adding practicality. If you have questions about installing a new mailbox, check with USPS for regulations in your area. Don’t forget to add street number stickers to the mailbox. 

Keep it Clean

Have you seen the amazing before-and-after transformations that can be achieved with a power washer? You can change the look of your home simply by taking a high-pressure water hose to your driveway, walkways, and even exterior. Blast away years of dirt and vegetation overgrowth with a power washer to increase your rental’s curb appeal. It might be a task you carry out between renters, or it could be routine maintenance written into the rental agreement. However you decide to do it, be sure the permanent hardscaping elements of your home aren’t neglected.

Caring for an Empty Rental

It’s inevitable that at some point, your rental will be empty. Whether it’s just a few weeks or an entire season, how are you going to care for the yard at an unoccupied home?

Real Estate experts at Lakota Winter Park have suggestions for keeping up a vacation home between trips HERE, and you can find more tips below.

Hire a Lawn Care Service

If you don’t have time to weed, mow, and maintain your lawn when your rental is empty, hire an amateur or professional lawn care service in the meantime. It may be included in your property management services if you have a third-party managing your rental, or you may have to find a neighborhood teen who’s looking to make some pocket money. Avoid letting an unoccupied home go to seed, as fixing it up will likely cost you more money than maintaining it will.

Establish Accountability

If possible, schedule visits to your vacant rental property to check on the work you’ve hired out. Establish accountability with those who have been tasked with the lawn care, winterizing the property, or other maintenance in your absence. Be sure all contracts have stipulations for keeping people accountable for the work you expect of them.

Above all, being involved in your rental business is your best bet for keeping properties maintained. You can still be hands-off when it comes to performing the labor, but you should be in regular contact with your property management company, or the tenants themselves. If you can’t be the eyes and ears of your property, be sure you can rely on who is.

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