Who pays for landscaping?
That question seems to come up at TON from both the landlord AND the tenant side. After almost 4 years of landlording, I only provide landscaping at our houses in Charleston. That is because it is part of the HOA and not an option. If I wasn’t required then I honestly wouldn’t offer it.
Six Thoughts on Landscaping:
#1 – People want to do it themselves– I find that a lot of people will ask for it to bededucted from the rent because they want to get outside and work in the yard.
#2- You don’t get more in rent– You usually don’t get more in rent if you offer landscaping. So you lose money if you offer landscaping.
#3- Hard to Control Landscaper’s Quality– The biggest complaint I have heard from landlords is that they will pay for services not rendered. The company won’t come or do a horrible job and the tenants won’t say anything because it is not their concern. Therefore if you are going to include it make sure you set up a system where either the landscaper sends you pictures or the tenants are on the hook for landscaping quality even if it is provided. The last thing you want to do is offer landscaping and still have your yard trashed.
#4 – Tenants “Skin in the Game”– While I have not experience this personally; a lot of landlords have complained about the gardeners not completing the work or charging EXTRA because toys were out or dog feces was not picked up. So again the landlord was paying and not receiving the needed services. In these cases the landlord was charged extra for the tenant’s actions. Double ouch!
#5 – Trashed Lawn– Most people offer landscaping because if something happens to “their” lawn they will be devastated. In that case you should just sell! Things will happen to your house and yard. It is a rental and needs to be treated that way. If the yard is not taken care of the way you spelled out in your lease then you can use the security deposit to fix it at the end or if you catch it during the tenancy address it before it gets out of hand. Just remember to leave your heart out of landlording as this is a business.
#6 – Extra Hassle– In the end, for me, it is return on my hassle. My life is crazy enough without any extra so I strive to reduce ANY extra stress that does not have great returns. Here’s the thing I have found. You are better off lowering the rent by $50 and eliminating landscaping.
So what do you think? What is your landscaping policy?0