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How to Manage the Rental Property Lawn

Key Takeaways

  • A well-maintained lawn is a big factor in attracting great tenants. The cost of hiring a professional service to mow your rental property’s lawn depends on the size of your space and can cost you between $48 and $206. If you manage multiple units within the same building, consider hiring a lawn service company.
  • Tenants are not typically responsible for landscaping duties beyond mowing the lawn. You can agree with your tenant on seasonal maintenance responsibilities, like removing snow from residential driveways or sidewalks.
  • Always include landlord-tenant maintenance responsibilities in the lease terms. In addition to detailing everything in the lease, it's best to agree to terms with your tenant in person or via email so that everyone's expectations are clear.

Published on Dec 5, 2023 | Updated on Dec 5, 2023

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After becoming a landlord, you must consider every detail of the rental, including the upkeep of your outdoor spaces. One of the main monthly upkeep tasks is lawn maintenance throughout the spring and summer months. During winter, the landlord has to figure out who will be responsible for snow removal.

Learn how to find reasonable and reliable full-service lawn care and decide who should be accountable for preserving your rental’s curb appeal––the landlord or the tenant.

What are the main lawn care responsibilities?

The primary lawn care responsibilities are mowing the lawn and assigning the job of removing snow during the winter. Beyond just lawn mowing, additional aspects of lawn care include:

  1. Hedging
  2. Weeding
  3. Tree trimming
  4. Lawn fertilizing
  5. Raking leaves
  6. Watering plants

As a property owner, you’ve probably poured money into a beautiful outdoor space, so you may be willing to pay for the additional expenses of extra landscaping services. When your rental is a residential home that only requires the minimum upkeep, you can opt to ask your potential tenant if they are willing and capable of regular mowing.

Who is responsible for lawn service?

When you request that the tenant be responsible for lawn maintenance, outline their responsibilities in the rental agreement. If it’s convenient for the tenant and they are able to mow the lawn, that would help save on expenses and alleviate extra landlord responsibilities. This information in the lease agreement will communicate everyone’s responsibilities. Set your expectations in the lease terms before the tenant moves into the rental. Hiring a professional service is recommended if you own or manage a multi-unit place.

Here are some additional yard maintenance responsibilities you can include in the lease terms:

Picking up after dogs: It is acceptable to ask tenants to routinely clean up after their dogs. Consider hiring a company to visit a multi-unit weekly or when needed. There are many services located throughout Canada and the U.S. that will clean up after your dog. In Calgary, consider hiring a weekly yard service for scoop and removal. A company based in Orange County is licensed and will keep the yard tidy with its pet waste removal services.

With multiple units, hiring a weekly service to clean up after dogs and hiring biweekly lawn care professionals will keep your tenants’ yards tidy so they can feel proud of where they live.

Snow removal services: If your tenant volunteers to remove snow and is reliable, assign them that responsibility and include those terms in writing in the lease agreement. For multi-units or sizable properties, you can hire a service that will remove snow from the driveways, sidewalks, and front walkways during heavy continuous snowfalls or within 24 hours after the first snowfall.

Deciding who will be responsible for seasonal tasks, like snow removal, should ideally be resolved before the tenants move into the rental.

Getting lawn care service quotes

According to the home advice website Bob Vila, a homeowner can pay a professional lawn care service between $48 and $206, depending on the area that needs service.

Many landlords won’t hesitate to hire a service because it’s one less thing they have to worry about, and it guarantees that the property will always have an attractive lawn. On the other hand, some tenants are more than willing to maintain the landscaping and have their own yard care tools. If your tenants consent to maintain the lawn, you can offer tools, like a rake, shovel, and lawn mower, as a courtesy. If you choose to go with a lawn care service, ask for monthly estimates.

Below are examples of estimates for mowing and lawn maintenance. The first estimate describes the services, when the landlord can expect the lawn care workers, how much the weekly service costs, and how much the total monthly cost will be. The second estimate lists the total cost, but it doesn’t have enough details about the service compared to the first estimate. Having detailed estimates and receipts will reduce the work for the landlord by keeping all of the information organized.

Landscaping and lawn maintenance are distinctly different. If your tenant is interested in changing the design of your exterior space, make sure you review the plan and approve it. Learn the difference between hiring professional landscaping crews versus hiring a full-service lawn maintenance person. 

FAQ: How to manage the rental property lawn

Get ahead of the maintenance responsibilities. For the most part, you should know what expenses you can cover using funds from the rental income. Develop a maintenance calendar, and before you approve a tenant, recruit the help of a tenant screening service.

Trimming trees and hedges counts as additional landscaping maintenance. It would be ideal if your tenant volunteered to do these duties, especially if they do a fine job. However, a tenant is typically not responsible for trimming.

When managing multiple units, the landlord usually hires a professional service for mowing the lawn. If you can easily persuade your tenant to mow the lawn on a residential property, that will save you maintenance costs. These terms should ideally be established before the tenant moves in.

Our final thoughts

Placing a trustworthy tenant in your rental property can save you money and alleviate any concerns that the tenant won’t properly maintain your rental. SingleKey provides landlords with a comprehensive Tenant Report to guarantee you rent to a reliable tenant.

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