Lawn care for duplex

10 Replies

If you have a duplex, do you pay for the lawn care or does the tenant maintain their half of the yard? If its provided do you increase the rent any?

@Lori D.

Is it a side-by-side or over-under duplex?

With side-by-side buildings it's pretty easy to tell a tenant this half of the lawn (and this drive) are your responsibility and that half (and the other drive) is the other tenant's responsibility ... though it is often easier still to have it handled and include the costs in your rent.

For over-under duplexes it's much more difficult to have tenants accept responsibility - each will assume the other is going to do it.

We take care of the lawn and snow removal at all our properties and simply we bake the costs into the rent.

1(506) 471-4126

@Lori D.

I feel it all depends on the township your rental is in. If you live in a town or city that will quickly give you a fine for the grass not being cut on time then I would hire it out. I think it was @Dave Van Horn who wrote a blog about how he had a warrant against him because by some weird mistake the town thought his rental property's grass was not being cut. 

If you not confident at how responsible your tenants will be in cutting their own grass then hire it out.

You can try to give them an incentive for them to cut their grass on time like $10 deduction in rent or a $50 gift card at the end of the year. (Nothing motivates people like money)

However, if you think all of that won't work for then just raise the rent a little to offset the cost of hiring out a company.  

@Lori D - I give my tenant a $25/month discount to cover lawn and snow. I provide a basic mower and shovel. It ends up being a win-win because we both save!

just find a local company to take care of it. just work it in your numbers

Originally posted by @Lori D. :

If you have a duplex, do you pay for the lawn care or does the tenant maintain their half of the yard? If its provided do you increase the rent any?

 We always maintain it. Can never put something like that on tenants in a multi unit property. Never works out & leads to the grass not being maintained well enough, which then leads to a hefty fine.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633
Originally posted by @Lori D. :

If you have a duplex, do you pay for the lawn care or does the tenant maintain their half of the yard? If its provided do you increase the rent any?

 In my side by side duple, tenants are responsible. 

Lawn care... a simple act that causing nothing but problems. Have it done for them, work it into your numbers, and advertise that the resident never has to lift a finger to mow the grass. 

It's a good marketing point and you avoid the municipal fines. You also avoid the headaches caused when the resident "forgets" to mow, when you have to fight the fines in court, when you try to collect the fine from the resident, etc.

Thanks everyone for the advice!

I've come to learn you cannot rely on tenants for anything more than taking care of what is in their unit interior and even then, with some, it is like pulling teeth.  I say take care of it, if you want to maintain curb appeal and not have issues with the city for not tending to your yard.  But more importantly for your own peace of mind then be sure to fact it into the rents. I use it as someone mentioned here as a marketing tool as tenants generally want a good place to live, with the least amount of effort and if given a choice many will rather the $10 to $20 extra per month if they do not have to do it themselves.  Snow removal, I put it on them, don't need the liability and often they will need to get out and go to work, so guess that snow will need to be shoved somehow.  The yard, I have a mowing crew come out for weekly mowing 7 months out of the year at a decent fee.

At the end of the day, most tenants will not treat your property like their own.

I say hire out and have it done on a schedule.

A tenant will most likely not do it when they are busy.

If you give them a rent credit over time they think of their discounted rent as their true rent and they are doing you a favor to mow.  When the grass is too long they will tell you they will do it "tomorrow".  Are you going to come back tomorrow or the day after to check?

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