As the weather and leaves begin to turn this Fall, not everyone immediately thinks of landscaping opportunities. But in fact, the Fall is the ideal time to complete essential outdoor maintenance to ensure your rental property stays protected and beautiful all year long. While the property owner should complete major tasks, there are several things tenants can do to protect the rental property. Join us below as we review fall landscaping tips for tenants and a few for landlords too!
Fall Landscaping Tips for Tenants
As a tenant, maintenance responsibilities may vary depending on the type of rental property or the individual lease terms. So, if you are unsure of your obligations to outdoor maintenance, check with your landlord. During the colder months, the rental property and its landscaping are susceptible to cold temperatures that can be damaging. To prevent damage and keep your curb appeal looking its best, check out these Fall landscaping tips for tenants below –
- Pull Weeds
- Remove Leaves and Debris
- Protect Sensitive Plants
- The Final Mow
- Winterize Outdoor Fixtures
- Check Windows and Doors
- Avoid Pest Infestations
- Clean and Store All Tools
As simple as it seems, pulling weeds is an essential part of basic landscaping in any season. If not taken care of before the ground freezes, weeds can come back even stronger and more prevalent in the Spring. Also, weeds steal nutrients away from your lawn or other plants, becoming a severe problem if not dealt with early. So, look for any weeds throughout the landscaping and around the yard, and be sure to dig down and remove the roots as well.
Remove Leaves and Debris
Leaf matter can build up and stifle grass growth. Therefore, tenants should periodically rake and remove leaves or other limbs and debris from the yard. This will help keep the yard looking great but also healthier for the next spring.
Protect Sensitive Plants
Not every plant is hardy enough to survive the winter without some type of cold barrier. Thus, if landscaping around the rental home includes any sensitive perennials or shrubbery, add mulch or leaves to build up a base around the root system. This will help protect them from the sting of freezing weather.
The Final Mow
Before the first freeze, giving the lawn one last mow is critical to a great lawn in the spring. So, after clearing leaf debris, set the mower to a low setting and go over everything a final time. This helps the grass plant build up the root system and allows the soil to dry faster as the snow melts. Ultimately generating a healthier and lush green lawn.
Winterize Outdoor Fixtures
Frozen pipes are a landlord’s worst nightmare, and it is not good news for the tenant either. That said, prevention begins before the weather conditions fall below freezing. In fact, even just a small amount of water left in a pipe can freeze and crack. So, before the first freeze, turn off the water to the outside lines for the season and drain all pipes or hose bibs.
Check Windows and Doors
As the temperature drops, drafty windows or doors can make heating efficiency go out the window – literally. That said, now is the time to examine these areas for evidence of drafts, cracking, leaks, or damaged seals. If the tenant discovers an area of concern, notify the landlord. Typically, the landlord can resolve simple wear or crack by adding new caulk or seals.
Avoid Pest Infestations
Colder weather drives pests and rodents towards homes in search of warmth and shelter. Surprisingly, rodents need only a tiny opening to infiltrate a home and wreak havoc. So, keep an eye out around the home’s exterior for any vulnerabilities such as cracks, holes, or missing screens. If you locate potential openings, reach out to your landlord and let them know. Ideally, patching with a metal screen will help prevent rodents from entering.
Clean and Store All Tools
Tools work better and last longer if they are taken care of properly. So, one of our most important landscaping tips for tenants is to clean and store yard tools properly. To keep tools looking great, clean off any dirt or grass clippings and lightly coat the metal surfaces of shovels and rates with oil. This can help prevent tools from rusting until you are ready to use them again in the spring.
Fall Landscaping and Maintenance Tips for Landlords
Typically, tenants are responsible for lawn maintenance in single-family rental properties. In multi-family properties, landlords cover all common area maintenance needs. Regardless, there are some important Fall maintenance tasks that any property owner should complete. Let’s review these below –
- Prune Large Trees or Shrubbery – Storms and Winter weather can cause tree limbs to break and potentially cause property damage. So, consider having a professional tree company evaluate and prune away diseased or broken branches annually. In addition, it is a good idea to trim back bushes to promote strong regrowth in the spring.
- Clean the Gutters – Leaves and debris will easily clog gutters if not periodically cleaned out. Thus, allowing water to build up and potentially cause damage along the roof and walls. Therefore, Fall is the perfect time to clean out the gutters and check for any cracking or damage.
- Inspect the Roof – Limbs and debris can fall onto the yard, into the gutters, and onto the roof of homes and sheds. So, while cleaning the gutters, remove any debris from the roof as well. Moreover, take time to inspect the roof for any water damage or weakness signs and replace missing or damaged times.
- Prepare for Snow Removal – East Coast weather can change in an instant, and the time to organize snow removal is not when flakes are already falling. In single-family rentals, the tenant may be responsible for snow and ice removal, but if not, landlords must step in. So, plan early and secure a snow removal contract with a reputable company in the Fall so you will be ready!
Worry-free Maintenance with Professional Property Management
When it comes to outdoor or indoor rental property maintenance, the year-round to-do list can become overwhelming. As a tenant, it is vital to read your lease and understand your responsibilities and what tasks the landlord will complete. However, managing maintenance tasks, inspections, repairs, and other administrative tasks can occupy a huge chunk of time for property owners.
Fortunately, there is help out there for landlords bogged down by day-to-day rental responsibilities. The expert staff at Bay Property Management Group understands how valuable the landlord-tenant relationship is. That said, our team works diligently to assist tenants with maintenance needs, lease questions, and so much more. To find out more about our full-service property management services, give us a call today.