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Raking leaves on property

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Bienes Raices

Orlando, Florida

Feb 11 '13, 04:55 PM


Without getting into the details, I've been having a problem with very unqualified applicants for my new rental.

Because there's limited room for the tenant to keep a lawnmower on the property, I've been toying with the idea of including lawn service to get better applicants. I would like to get a service that will mow for $75 or less per month. I don't know if this is possible without hiring a kid. I will have to call around.

The problem is the house also has several large oak trees around it that shed a lot of leaves. I literally filled 30 bags of leaves the other day. I've been told these trees shed leaves year round, too. I assume it's going to be exorbitant to pay a service to do this raking in addition to mowing. Should I get a leafblower and do the leaves myself, or try to get the tenant to do the raking and hire a service just to mow the lawn? My concern is that if the tenant neglects the raking and the service person arrives they won't be able to mow. Thanks.



Rick L.

Real Estate Investor from Saint Louis, Missouri

Feb 11 '13, 05:34 PM


I'm relatively new to being a landlord, but rented for almost a decade in my younger years. I would not rely on the tenant to mow and/or rake the lawn. If you want to maintain the appearance of your lawn and landscaping either do it yourself or hire someone to do so.



Bienes Raices

Orlando, Florida

Feb 11 '13, 05:58 PM


Originally posted by Rick L.:
I'm relatively new to being a landlord, but rented for almost a decade in my younger years. I would not rely on the tenant to mow and/or rake the lawn. If you want to maintain the appearance of your lawn and landscaping either do it yourself or hire someone to do so.

Thanks Rick--I have my tenants at the other rentals do it themselves and it hasn't been an issue. I'm just concerned about the lack of storage space at this one (for lawnmower, etc.) and that the huge volume of leaves may be a turnoff to applicants.



James H.

SFR Investor from Texas

Feb 11 '13, 06:14 PM
1 vote


I never rake leaves. I just mow over them and they compost back into the ground.

I don't know what prices are like where you are compared to me, but I would assume that being in the south where there's a lot of grass to be cut, prices would be pretty competitive. It's pretty easy to find someone to do front/back for around 25 a cut - at least where I live.



Mike H.

Real Estate Investor from Manteno, Illinois

Feb 12 '13, 08:52 AM


Can you get rid of the tree? It might be cheaper. :-)

Also, just because you include lawn service does that mean you have to include the leaves? Can you tell them that they're responsible for raking the leaves and if they aren't raked, you'll do it but will have to charge them $50? There's got to be room there for them to keep a rake. :-)

I have a clause in my lease about the lawn that if they don't cut it and I get hit with a fine, they'll pay the fine and I'll cut the grass but will charge them $75 to do it. I've never had a problem.



Matt Devincenzo

SFR Investor from Clairemont, California

Feb 12 '13, 09:12 AM
2 votes


@Bienes Raices I grew up in Orlando in a house with 4 Oaks on the property and the leaves do kind of fall all year but it is minimal except for about 2 months a year when the new leaves push out. The worst times of year are right about now when the new leaves are starting to come out and I think it's usually around Aug when the acorns fall.

But I've never heard of anyone really charging for those. Usually just mowing the leaves is enough to break them up and allow them to keep composting, about 8 months out of the year(Spring summer early fall) it is warm and wet enough that they never build up. And if it is too heavy of a leaf fall what works better/cheaper is to just mow and have the clippings bagged and the leaves get sucked up with them, doing that every week when you mow keeps them from ever getting too thick that you even need to rake.

I know alot of the guys don't bag but some do so you might ask when you're calling around.



Will Barnard Verified Moderator Donor

Real Estate Investor from Santa Clarita, California

Feb 12 '13, 09:21 AM


Not sure about prices in your area, but my guy can do front and back lawn care 4 times monthly for $70. The leaves on the ground would mostly get caught in the mower and be collected in with the cut grass, so that should not be a problem. My service also includes edging and leave blowing. (and he is not a kid)



Medium_be_logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc.
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.barnardenterprises.com
http://www.InvestorExperts.com - For all Southern California House Flippers, Agents, and Wholesalers


Joel Owens Verified Moderator

Commercial Real Estate Broker from Canton, Georgia

Feb 12 '13, 10:19 AM
1 vote


Wow Will that is a killer rate you have for yard work especially in Cali.

I couldn't find that kind of rate out here. In Georgia coming out 4 times in gas alone they wouldn't make that much for 70 total. Usually best rate for a 1/2 acre or so is 35 to 45.

Here In Georgia the grass only grows about 7 to 8 months out of the year. They try to get you to go year round but everybody pays by the month and stops during the cold months when nothing grows. I wouldn't want tenants mowing the grass with the landlords machines or anything like that. Too much liability there if something goes wrong.



Medium_allworldrealtyJoel Owens, All World Realty
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 678-779-2798
Website: http://www.AWcommercial.com
www.AWcommercial.com 678-779-2798 [email protected]


William Bannister

Commercial Landlord from Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Feb 12 '13, 10:33 AM
1 vote


I agree with Brian mow with a nice mulching 175 dollar mower and mulch em into yard and grass. Unless your blessed with some mighty oaks or hickory trees that throw off too many leaves.
You should be able to get a service to do it for 35 bucks a week if its a 1/4 acre lot. More then this is too much.
My thought is this 3 4x8 pieces sheets of green treat 3/4 plywood would build a storage unit a push lawnmower could be stored in with a gas can and a rake and a few items. Paint it white and angle the lid away from building down so water runs off of it. You could even add a few pieces of trim and a nice handle and hinges to open with locking mechanism for a pad lock. Total cost would be less then 100 dollars and take care of storage problem and not be large enough to be considered q a shed that requires permit. connect it to building by the garden hose and its will be very useful for storage. If I could draw my design it would be nice for all to see. If you take time and build it right it would last 12 to 15 years and look nice on the lot if you have a few bushes planted nearby to screen it. Sort of like screening in the pump house by a pool.



Will Barnard Verified Moderator Donor

Real Estate Investor from Santa Clarita, California

Feb 12 '13, 04:53 PM


I couldn't find that kind of rate out here. In Georgia coming out 4 times in gas alone they wouldn't make that much for 70 total. Usually best rate for a 1/2 acre or so is 35 to 45.
Granted my price is NOT for 1/2 acre, but much smaller. 1/2 acre in CA would cost your first born son and left arm unless in the middle of the desert! Same guy will come twice per month on one of my luxury $2M+ homes and service a good 3/4+ acres for $150 monthly.



Medium_be_logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc.
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.barnardenterprises.com
http://www.InvestorExperts.com - For all Southern California House Flippers, Agents, and Wholesalers


Steve Babiak

Real Estate Investor from Audubon, Pennsylvania

Feb 12 '13, 05:27 PM
1 vote


One thing about a lawn service is that the drive to the job site is un-paid time to the business operator (laborers aren't getting anything done but get their hourly rate still). So there is a certain cost passed along to the property owner for the lawn service to get to the site; once on site, the price to do a bit more land is not too significant. So getting a bunch of neighbors to all hire the same crew is one way to save.



Steve Babiak, Redeeming Properties, LLC
Telephone: 6109082183
...


Bienes Raices

Orlando, Florida

Feb 13 '13, 04:47 AM


Originally posted by Matt Devincenzo:
Bienes Raices I grew up in Orlando in a house with 4 Oaks on the property and the leaves do kind of fall all year but it is minimal except for about 2 months a year when the new leaves push out. The worst times of year are right about now when the new leaves are starting to come out and I think it's usually around Aug when the acorns fall.

But I've never heard of anyone really charging for those. Usually just mowing the leaves is enough to break them up and allow them to keep composting, about 8 months out of the year(Spring summer early fall) it is warm and wet enough that they never build up. And if it is too heavy of a leaf fall what works better/cheaper is to just mow and have the clippings bagged and the leaves get sucked up with them, doing that every week when you mow keeps them from ever getting too thick that you even need to rake.

I know alot of the guys don't bag but some do so you might ask when you're calling around.

Thanks Matt--it's good to have the local perspective!



Rob K

Real Estate Investor from Michigan

Feb 13 '13, 05:04 AM


Why does it have to be cut so often? I own land in FL farther south from you and it only needs to be cut about 4-5 times per year. It's mostly crab grass that grows sideways. My cousin lives in Naples and only cuts about twice per month. Is your grass different?

I agree that the mulching mower should be able to take care of the leaves also. I have a rental that I maintain the lawn. My guy charges $15 per week to cut it. It's a small lot. Doesn't take him long.

Maybe run an ad on CL under "Gigs" that you need a lawn mowed. Just use a different email, no phone. See what kind of responses you get. Maybe someone will do the job for less than what you've found.



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