Upkeep on rental properties.

7 Replies

Hello all, I have one rental property under my belt and coming up close on closing on my second property which is a duplex. I’m thinking about providing a cleaning service and lawn care service with no choice, to ensure the property stays up to par. I would really love some opinions and advice on the matter!

Ehhh... That's personal preference. As a tenant I would love to have someone else mow my yard and clean my house. But as a landlord it will definitely eat into your cash flow. I don't think it would be easy to add on an extra "expense" like that and expect your tenants to pay it. If they stopped paying it, I don't know that you would be able to evict as long as they were still paying rent. 

I would look at what your competition is doing and base it off of that. By providing these services, you are just opening the door for "your cleaning person" to break or "steal" something. Or "your yard guy" could let out a dog, leave a gate open, etc. It's a lot of work on your end and extra liability for something that is not expected of you. 

Our leases have that tenant is responsible for lawn care. If it gets nasty we will take the yard clean up out of their deposit on move out. Same with the house. We have houses deep cleaned between tenants, so if it isn't clean when they leave we will take a cleaning service fee out of their deposit as well. 

Assuming the landlord is local, with only two properties, the landlord should be doing the upkeep themself. Crazy starting out to spend money for someone to do that small amount of upkeep.

Both items should be the responsibility of the tenant.  You should do an annual inspection to check that the house is being kept up and a drive would not hurt to check the exterior.  Make sure all concerns are communicated in writing.

Originally posted by @Morgan Martinez :
Hello all, I have one rental property under my belt and coming up close on closing on my second property which is a duplex. I’m thinking about providing a cleaning service and lawn care service with no choice, to ensure the property stays up to par. I would really love some opinions and advice on the matter!

it depends.  

    The cleaning service I would say no.  You can’t waste money trying to micro-manage a tenant. 

The Lawncare is a different story.  If you are doing it (or paying someone to do it) it should be built into the rent price.  If the norm for a duplex in the area is that the tenant does lawn care I would stick with that model, you could add an addendum to your lease that says XX dollars is charged if there are any citations against the property.  

Cleaning is a tenant responsibility and the vast majority of them can handle it fine. Why pay for that?

I handle landscaping on multi-family by hiring someone. I want to ensure it's maintained properly without tenants fighting over it. I also don't want to have to maintain a mower, edger, hoses, and other equipment or figure out where to store it.