Low Maintenance Garden Ideas For Investment Properties
If you’ve rented out an investment property before then you’ll know how important it is to have a low maintenance garden to ensure you don’t return to a yard that has been overrun by weeds. However, as a landlord it can be difficult to find the perfect balance between creating a beautiful garden to attract new tenants while ensuring that the garden is low maintenance.
Landscaping can be used to increase property value, improve street appeal and attract new tenants. However, you don’t want to overspend on creating a beautiful, but high maintenance garden as tenants will rarely keep up the landscaping. So, in order to keep everyone happy, including your new tenants, overlooking neighbours and you as the landlord, you need to find the happy balance between an attractive, easy to maintain, and cost effective garden.
Top Tips For Low Maintenance Gardens:
One low maintenance landscaping feature that can also be used to increase the value of your property, and attract new tenants, is a strategically placed hedge. There are many types of fast-growing hedges that are hardy enough to survive a forgetful tenant. And, typically only needing a trim 2 or 3 times a year, a hedge is the perfect way to bring colour and life to your garden without using high maintenance plants that require regular attention.
Plus, the right hedge can also be used to increase the appeal of your property by giving privacy from overlooking neighbours and reducing noise from a busy road or train station.
Another landscaping trick than can be used to both increase street appeal and create a low maintenance garden is a physical edge between the garden beds and lawn. Everyone loves the look of a clean edge between the lawn and the garden, however, after an hour of mowing the lawn in the hot sun it can be hard to find the will to take out your whipper snipper and edge the garden. And even when you do finally bring out the whipper snipper, it can be difficult to cut a clean edge.
Luckily, you can create a physical edge between your garden beds and lawn quite inexpensively by using bricks, edging pavers, wood and many other low cost landscaping materials. This will make your garden appear neat and tidy without constantly having to maintain the edging.
For most people, mowing the lawns is a chore, especially when you have to give up your Saturday morning to maintain someone else’s property. That’s why landlords will often find that their lawns have been neglected and become overgrown, patchy or have died out completely. One of the easiest ways to create a low maintenance backyard that will keep nosy neighbours and busy tenants happy is to install turf.
Artificial turf has come leaps and bounds since it was originally invented and resembled unattractive green carpet. In fact, some turf has become so life like that it can even add value to your property. It can be tempting to rip up the lawn and lay pavers after a bad run with tenants who refused to maintain the lawn. However, many potential tenants, particularly families, are looking for outdoor areas that include a nice patch of lawn. Artificial turf is the solution.
When designing the garden of your rental property you need to take into account that any living thing requires regular attention and upkeep. Simple tasks such as requiring tenants to mow the lawn or cut back a hedge once or twice a year are reasonable expectations. However, if you invest in a variety of plants to improve your garden, it is unlikely that your tenants will keep up with the frequent watering and weeding required to keep them alive.
That’s why hardscaping is a great alternative to investing in extensive garden beds, as hardscaped features require little to no maintenance. One example of hardscaping to reduce garden maintenance would be to cover garden beds with coloured stones, rocks or a path instead of planting a flower garden. You could also beautify untidy or dead patches of your lawn or garden with maintenance-free paving.
Additionally, other hardscaping features such as patios, decking, or a pool can be used to attract new tenants as they create more living space while simultaneously reducing garden maintenance.
As mentioned earlier, the biggest challenge of landscaping for an investment property is finding the balance between a low maintenance garden that will still make the property attractive to prospective tenants. It can be difficult to design an attractive yard without also creating a high maintenance garden. And although it can be tempting to rip up the garden bed and lawns to pave the area for a zero maintenance yard, you’ll be missing out on the opportunity to use a well-designed backyard to increase the rental rate and value of your property.
The solutions is planting native perennials and drought tolerant plants rather than annual plants. This is because annuals have a lifespan of only a year which means even if the tenants are frequently watering your garden, you’ll have to return to the property every year to replant. Conversely, perennials will regrow every year and will pretty much survive on their own once their roots have been established.
Choosing native perennials will also increase their chances of survival as they are known to thrive in the conditions of your property as they are native to the area. If you’re not sure which plants are best suited to your area or soil visit your local nursery at Wellers Hill Hardware & Landscape Supplies for expert advice on the best plants for your property.
Another rental garden no-no is exposed garden beds as they require constant weeding and often look untidy as fallen sticks and leaves are clearly visible. Plus, one bad spell of weather and your garden bed could be completely washed out by rainwater.
There are many options for inexpensive garden covers that will reduce weed growth and give your garden beds a neat and tidy look such as mulch and pine straw. Additionally, these garden covers retain more water to promote the healthy growth of your garden, and will only need to be touched up a few times a year.
Once you have successfully landscaped your investment property to be a low maintenance oasis, there are a few things you can do to ensure all of your hard work doesn’t go to waste:
- Speak with your property manager about adding a clause that requires tenants to maintain the condition of your backyard
- Increase the cost of rent to include the cost of hiring a professional landscaper to maintain your backyard
- Ensure that photos are taken of the outside of your property when completing an entry report at the start of a new lease to safeguard yourself from tenants who may dig up your garden or make other drastic changes to your backyard
If you’re not sure which plants are native to your area or how best to landscape your backyard for minimal maintenance and maximum street appeal, visit your local Brisbane landscape supplies store at Wellers Hill Hardware & Landscape Supplies. With over 50 years of experience providing locals with quality hardware and landscape supplies, our experienced team members will help you create the perfect garden for your rental property.