You don’t have to go looking for trouble when you’re a landlord. Guaranteed, it would seem, trouble finds you! Whether it’s damaged flooring, problematic plumbing, late payments, or a demanding tenant, every day brings new challenges. That’s why, as industry expert Atlanta Turf & Tree advises, it’s a priority to install low-maintenance landscaping at your investment property. 

It can be tough to get started, but we’ve got you covered! Read on to get our best low-maintenance landscaping tips!

Keep ROI in Mind

Before undertaking any project at an investment property, it’s vital to do your due diligence when it concerns return on investment. That’s the name of the game. Right? Nothing’s worse than shelling out to make an improvement that won’t pay off. The good news is that researching before you commence the project saves time and money.

Look at your market. Weigh into consideration the location and target tenant of the investment property. Size up the competition as well. Using that, carefully consider every expense and avoid overdoing improvements.

Assign Responsibility

Have a maintenance plan before you prepare the lease or list the rental. Landscaping is an integral part of both perceived and actual value. So, protect that investment! As a landlord, decide whether the tenant will be responsible for maintaining the landscaping or you will handle it. 

Another popular option is to hire out the work and use a reputable landscaping and lawn care service to ensure the property is being cared for properly. Using a professional landscaping service ensures timely, consistent, and competent care. Further, avoiding lapses in maintenance keeps the property’s reputation in good standing with the HOA-and complaints at bay.

Include Evergreens

Evergreens are the MVPs of low-maintenance landscapes. They don’t dump leaves across the yard in autumn, and they don’t look terrible in January. Another benefit is their longevity, often decades-long. 

Additionally, they come in all shapes and sizes to suit different yard spaces. Choose one hardy in your property’s garden zone and water to establish. Add a drip on your automatic water system and proceed to enjoy it with minimal upkeep.

Rock Your Rental

Well, rock the landscaping, anyways. Gravel ground covers are one of the longest-lasting options, and they are incredibly cost-effective over time. Visit a landscaping supply to choose the color that best suits your property, and don’t just apply to fill in unused space.

Rock gardens and xeriscapes incorporate gravel into the focal points and gardens of the yard. That allows a landlord to choose a few large, hardy perennials and add rocks to keep weeds and maintenance down. Remember to lay overlapping rows of weed barriers underneath the rock work and enjoy minimal maintenance.

Choose Non-Toxic Plants

Especially for residential rentals, do a little research on the toxicity of any plant you install. Children and pets (if allowed on the premises) are prone to ingesting things they shouldn’t. Whenever possible, choose non-toxic varieties that won’t prove problematic in the future.

Automate, Automate, Automate

Irrigation is the first thing that comes to mind with automation. The average tenant may not lovingly water the lawn every other day and often during heat waves. Save the difficulty of replacing dead plants and instead install drip or sprinkler irrigation before handing over the keys.

If your property has CC&Rs or a strict HOA, skip the headache of reminding tenants to mow the lawn and schedule maintenance instead. You can include the cost when deciding the monthly rent to charge.

Plant Hardy Perennials

Perennials are plants that come back year after year. When planning your investment property’s low-maintenance landscaping, always plant perennials so you won’t have to replant them at the end of the season. Here’s a quick list of things to think about when choosing:

  • Avoid plants that shed excessive leaves, fruit, pollen, or seed pods.
  • Avoid plants that will require excessive pruning.
  • Avoid ill-suited plants not hardy in your garden zone.
  • Consider native plants found nearby as they are often hardy.
  • Consider comparable properties for inspiration.

Pick the Right Trees

Trees add height and attractiveness to any landscape composition. The right ones provide desirable shade and increase property value. However, the wrong ones can become a terrible pain. Like perennials, trees can become nuisances when they drop excessive pollen, seed pods, leaves, or unwanted fruit. Their root systems can be vast and destructive. Some tree species are prone to invading plumbing and drainage pipes, causing expensive repairs. Choose carefully to avoid problems down the road.

Balance Plants and Hardscape

Plants will always require more maintenance than hardscapes. Including patios and walkways with tasteful greenspace allows the rental to be low maintenance without feeling cold and industrial. 

When considering hardscape materials, choose resilient and easy to wash. Concrete and pavers are easier to wash off than stained sandstone or flagstones. Consider future maintenance requirements before installation and the potential wear and tear. 

Optimizing your rental’s landscaping to be low maintenance is a commitment, but it’s time and money well spent when the end goal is kept in mind: less maintenance, more value, and higher return on investment.