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Landscape Care and Rentals

All investors and homeowners want to make the maximum amount of profit on their rental properties.  As an investor myself, my goals are exactly the same: maximize profits and lower expenses.  With that said, here is my question.  Is there ever a time where lowering expenses actually hurts profitability in the long run?  In other words, can lowering expenses in the short-term hurt your long-term profitability?  For those owners with single-family homes, lawn care is one of the areas I often have to educate my owners.

When I sit across the table from prospective owners, their mental calculator is calculating away.  They are trying to figure out how much profit is left after they pay their mortgage, property taxes, and insurance.  Once we get on the subject of lawn care, most owners will say they want the tenant responsible for all landscaping.  In theory, it sounds really good.  The tenant will take care of the yard and the owner will not have to pay for landscape care.  In the same breath, most owners will say that the tenant is responsible for water too.  Once again, this sounds great since it reduces the owner’s cost.

At this point in the conversation (depending on the yard size, amount of grass, maturity of the landscape, etc.), I usually explain to the owner why it may benefit them in the long run to take care of all landscape care.  First, tenants who are responsible for watering the lawn will typically cut back on the duration of each water cycle as well as the frequency of each watering.  Next, the tenant will rarely take care of the yard as an owner would.

Further, in Northern Colorado, there are things that need to be done to preserve the longevity of your landscaping.  For example, in Fort Collins and Loveland, we have a landscaper who handles all sprinkler deactivation in the fall and aeration in the spring.  This is another important task to complete so your yard is in its best shape.

So, the next time you think about having a tenant care for the yard, keep in mind the above.  The cost to replace your landscaping may be more than the cost of a gardener and the water bill.  It all depends on the yard size and how mature the landscape is.   For any other questions about caring for your yard, please contact Real Property Management of the Rockies.

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