Managing Your Ark…

While some parts of the country (like Thunder Bay) are still covered in snow, other parts of the world are gearing up to start cutting grass – and that’s what landlords need to schedule into their property maintenance schedules to ensure that their properties look great all year round!

beautiful_lawn2There are several options for dealing with lawn care as a landlord.  For a single family home, providing the tenant with a gas lawnmower and a jerry can for gas is often the best solution.  Be sure that their lease agreement acknowledges that they are responsible for the lawn care.  Often tenants will do a great job of taking care of the exterior of their home – pride of “ownership” thing.  Of course, this doesn’t always work!  How many times have you passed a property with an overgrown yard, and flags in the windows as curtains, and you just KNOW that is a rental property… likely with an out-of-town landlord!

For larger properties landlords will want to hire a “professional”.  It is often more problematic to find a tenant to care for the lawn at a multi-unit property, unless you are extremely fortunate.  For these properties it is often advisable to hire a professional lawn-care company – one with insurance and WSIB coverage.  Set up a contract with them, spelling out what you expect them to do, how often you expect it done, and how much you will pay them each cut.  An all-in contract can also work – where you pay a flat fee for the season, but often the all-inclusive contracts find the contractor losing interest at the end of the season…

And one of the best ways we have found to find a contractor for grass-cutting is through Kijiji.  We have posted ads, and responded to ads, on Kijiji.  We talk to the contractor and then call some references.  It takes a little bit of work to get set-up, but there is nothing more satisfying than driving by your property during the summer months and seeing the well-tended lawn.

One final note, again depending on the type of rental property you have, spring for a pot of flowers at the building and have one of your tenants be responsible for the watering of them.  Nothings says “home” like flowers!

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