The Investor’s Guide To Xeriscaping Your Rentals

Investing in rental properties can present a perpetual maintenance struggle. One aspect in particular, the landscaping, can create a number of challenges. Renters don't often want to put in the effort, money, or time needed to maintain the property's landscaping. This can decrease the property's curb appeal and make it hard to attract the best potential renters.

Fortunately, xeriscaping is a nearly maintenance-free landscaping option that's perfectly suited for investment rental properties.

Colors and Contours

Xeriscaping starts with purposeful color and contour features.

  • Color-choosing rocks, plants, and shrubs of similar hues is a great place to start. For instance, you can use wood chips as a base layer to create a neutral reddish-brown that can pair nicely with Southwestern style rocks and shrubs.

  • Contours-xeriscaping is all about efficient engineering. To save water, your xeriscaping should have contours that channel water down to water vegetation below. Furthermore, creating small slopes with rocks and other porous materials will facilitate drainage.

Go Native

One of the principles of xeriscaping is saving one precious resource: water.

  • Natural Vegetation--to conserve water, xeriscaping often uses indigenous vegetation. Because these plants are native to the landscape, they are often grow with little fuss or attention. In addition to choosing flowers, shrubs, trees, and bushes that work with your xeriscaping aesthetic, consider using the plants you find in your local "natural" spaces.

  • Insect & Bird Magnets--another feature to consider when choosing vegetation for your xeriscaping are insects. Although much of landscaping conversations can be dominated by insect and pest prevention, planting vegetation that attracts bees, butterflies, and birds can be a pleasant feature that may provide natural pest and insect remedies as these critters often feed on the insects and other pests that prey on vegetation.

Xeriscape Your Rental Agreement

No renter is ever going to care about a property the way you do. Thus, you can build certain measures in your rental agreement to make sure that your renters have an incentive to take care of your xeriscaping.

  • Water Bill--renters often balk at paying water bills for a landscape they don't own, leading some to water minimally. You can take control of the situation by agreeing to pay their water bill while maintaining some oversight on how frequently the xeriscaping is watered. For instance, if you have a drip watering system you can stipulate that you are to have access to controlling the frequency and duration of the drip system.

  • Deposit--renters are used to paying a general deposit and/or pet deposit. Way not charge a nominal landscaping deposit? Having a deposit can incentivize your renters to proactively maintain your careful landscaping.  

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