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How to Take the Fear Out of Renting Your Property in Orlando Part 5 Managing Your Tenants "Lawn Care"

Pamela McNab-Syvertson - Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Managing your tenant's Maintenance Expectations…Lawn Care

So the move in went well; you documented, documented, documented with digital photos and /or video and your tenants have taken possession – now you can relax right?  Well not exactly, this is usually when the challenge begins!

Wait, what; why?  In a few words - human expectations.  The tenant’s expectations are usually in direct contrast with the landlord’s expectations.  The key is to ‘manage’ those expectations. 

To manage is to document and communicate expectations thoroughly and effectively between all parties.

You should have had, in writing as part of your lease, exactly what the tenant is responsible for and what you, the landlord, are responsible for.  You cannot be too clear or detailed.  Let’s consider one form of ‘maintenance’ that not all people consider a ‘maintenance issue’.  Lawn care.  When you’re renting single family homes with a lawn, and your lease indicates that the “lawn care is the ‘tenants’ responsibility”, you’re all set right?  No...Not even close if that is what your lease states. 

Don’t ever assume that someone is going to understand what you ‘mean’.  You need it written out specifically.  Think about it, what does it mean to you to make the tenant responsible for lawn care?  That they’ll do ‘everything’ they can to maintain the lawn and return it in the condition it was in when they received it from you correct? 

Now, let’s look at the different elements of lawn maintenance.  Mowing, edging, weed-eating & blowing right?  That’s usually what your tenant will expect is their responsibility, however what happens when the bushes become misshapen, or the mulch is gone from the landscape beds and weeds are growing everywhere?  How about when a few irrigation heads are missing or broken and the lawn isn't being watered properly, or what if your tenant has turned the irrigation off completely because it’s too expensive?  What about Florida lawn-bugs like chinch bugs that can ruin your lawn in a week’s time; how about dollar weeds and Bermuda grass?   What are you going to do about HOA violations that say your lawn is now 25% weeds and those areas need replaced?  The list continues… 

Did you really manage all of your expectations and what the tenant responsibilities are in order to make sure your investment is being maintained?  If your lease merely states that ‘lawn care is the ‘tenant’s responsibility’ you did not, and when the above issues do come up, you’ll have a confrontation that could have been handled by including all ‘detailed’ responsibilities to cover all forms of lawn maintenance.  Consider what can go wrong, and prepare for it by covering it in your lease!

Look for Part 6 in this series – Managing your Tenant – HOA Violations!   

  Read More

How to Take the Fear Out of Renting Your Property in Orlando Part 4 Move In Process

Pamela McNab-Syvertson - Friday, February 06, 2015

The Move In Process  Read More

The New Verandah Properties Business Model for 2015

Pamela McNab-Syvertson - Sunday, January 04, 2015
The New Verandah Properties Business Model for 2015  Read More

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