Property Management FAQ #2: An Overlooked Option for Tenants Who Treat Your Rentals Like Home

Property Management FAQ #2: An Overlooked Option for Tenants Who Treat Your Rentals Like Home

Did you know that landscaping maintenance and snow removal do not necessarily have to be part of your responsibilities as a landlord? Handle the situation correctly, and you could cross those two huge “honey-do” requests off your list for good.

As you probably know, there are a lot of good reasons for a landlord to make landscaping and snow/ice removal part of the property-management package. If tenants skip these important responsibilities on their own in a single-family property, you can end up dealing with enormous damages. However, if you put the wording in the lease agreement correctly and you have a tenant in the property who treats it like their own, then you could have an ideal situation on your hands for doing a little less seasonal work on one of your rentals.

When Can I Make This Maintenance My Tenant’s Responsibility?

If you own a multifamily property, then you probably cannot make these types of maintenance your tenant’s responsibility. However, if you own single-family rentals, then certain tenants may be willing and able to take on additional maintenance. At Olson Property Services (OPS) we refer to this as the “tenant exception.” We do not make this exception for every tenant, either!

However, if a tenant demonstrates a willingness and ability to not just perform landscaping and/or snow removal but also is willing to commit to doing so on a regular basis as stipulated in the lease agreement, we are sometimes willing to allow this. This is particularly useful if you are working with a resident who would really like to plant additional flowers in the yard or do other things of a similar nature that will make the property feel more like a home and less (to them) like a rental. This can definitely benefit the property owner because that close involvement with the property helps reinforce a resident’s desire to remain in the property long-term, thereby creating a loyal and reliable renter!

If you choose to go this route with a tenant, be sure to include in the terms of the lease how often these maintenance items should occur, under what circumstances, and at what specific point the resident loses the right to perform these duties themselves and cedes responsibility back to the property management company. Any costs associated with this should also be specified down to the tiniest detail. Property management must also monitor the property to make sure that the maintenance is, in fact, taking place. If your property management company is not willing to do this then you cannot offer this option to tenants.

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