Rental Property Landscaping Challenges: Why DIY property managers often fail

Managing rental property is a full-time job. And that fact is often diametrically opposed to why investors typically buy rental property – to enjoy blissful inactivity and enjoy a steady stream of passive income. One very tedious – yet extremely important – aspect of managing properties relates to landscaping. Both interior and exterior landscapes can make or break curb appeal. That’s why the best property management companies in Montgomery County MD often recommend that would-be property DIY managers think carefully before embarking on a landscaping project.

Challenges Galore

As a rental property investor or owner, you already have your work cut out for you. First, you must market vacant units, and those that will become vacant soon. You’ve got to find, prequalify, and vet prospective tenants. When there’s an emergency, it’s your job to drop all else and tend to it – before it turns into a disaster! And there’s a lot more that experienced property managers in Montgomery County MD do, that you’ll have to attend to:

  • Have properties routinely inspected and certified, to ensure they stack up to municipal, county and state legislation
  • Deal with serving legal notices to, and potentially evicting, noisy tenants
  • Follow-up on delinquent rent payers
  • Maintaining proper accounting and business records

With so many challenges to deal with, who needs to worry about landscaping and gardening. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, taking care of green spaces, plants and other botanical features of the property requires time. And if you aren’t equipped to deal with them, those elements of the property may depreciate or wither, leaving an unsightly blemish on your property.

Landscaping Rules to Embrace

If you are determined to be a landscaping DIY-er, despite everything else you have on the go, then it’s worth taking a page from the book of one of the best property management companies in Montgomery County MD.

Here are a few rental property landscaping rules that you should consider adopting:

  • Keep it Simple! The KIS principle is one of the most effective DIY landscaping approaches for any rental property, whether it’s single-family homes, high-rise apartments, condominium townhouses, or homeowner association-run properties. Rain gardens are simple to setup and less tedious to maintain. And if you want to avoid mowing hundreds of meters of lawn, simply plant groundcover in lieu of grass.
  • Keep it Legal and Friendly! While professional property managers know the law like the back of their hands, most DIY maintenance “specialists” don’t! Depending on local or state laws, you may have restrictions on the amount space, for hardscaping, that you’re allowed to use. Also, if you market your property as “pet friendly”, you may also need to cater to pet-friendly landscaping.
  • Go Native: Sure, exotic plants look attractive and are a great addition to overall ambience of the property. But if you ask property managers in Montgomery County MD, who have practical experience with rental property landscaping, they’ll always recommend native plants and foliage. Not only is going native less expensive; but native landscaping elements are often hardy (longer-lasting) and require less TLC to maintain and manage.

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