Setting up your Investment Property for renting is a pivotal part of minimising the stress through your investment lifetime. Lawns and garden maintenance is something you often need to consider with freestanding houses, and some townhouses – as well as tree trimming which may be required from time to time. Our modern day lives have grown fast paced, and often the lives of our Tenants are similarly busy. As a result, many people simply do not have as much free time to do these kinds of everyday tasks – or sometimes avoid them all together.
It is important to state the differences with lawns and gardens, as opposed to tree trimming. Generally speaking, if it is within reach for the Tenants to trim without the assistance of a ladder, then it is something your Tenant can and should be doing. If it is beyond this reach, it would then fall to you as the owner to have it attended to when required. Thankfully tree trimming is usually a job that only needs doing occasionally!
Having an Investment Property with large lawn or garden areas, or sometimes both – can lead to these areas being neglected; sometimes even with otherwise good Tenants. How do we minimise the risk of problems occurring, and in turn remove the distraction and potential expense from your life?
There are a number of options you can consider, depending on the circumstances:
- Include the lawn and/or garden maintenance in the rent – bypass the Tenants all together, and have a contractor attend to this for them. You will want to consider recovering this cost from the Tenants through the rent price or other methods, while ensuring you are not disadvantaged in chasing away potential Tenants (by possibly being too high in rent price). Consider this option on properties with large gardens and/or lawn areas, or for Tenants who do not have time to attend to it themselves.
- Encourage Tenants to have it done professionally – Have your Property Manager recommend they engage a contractor, and put them in contact with a good one. Your Property Manager can also help by making the Tenants aware the lawns and gardens are a priority for you, which may encourage them to ensure they are looked after.
- Tenant direct responsibility, and setting the expectations – By highlighting to your Tenants about their responsibilities with lawns and gardens, it can often encourage them enough the desired result. Making them aware you will be having this monitored from time to time can also help. This is a task your Property Manager can handle for you, and although it gives you less control over the situation – you can still monitor and act on any issues that arise through your State’s Tenancy laws.
Regardless of which way you decide to go above, you are less likely to run into problems. Even if an issue does eventually occur, the Tenants have been made fully aware and there is a clear way for your Property Manager to deal with the issue.
With tree trimming, the process is more straight forward.
You should be able to get advice on how often a trim would be required from a tree trimming company, and then have your Property Manager arrange it as a recurring job.