Trees are an incredible asset to any rental property. They provide blossoms in the spring, shade in the summer, and a lovely pop of color in the autumn. But when winter rolls around, those beautiful, stately trees can require extra work to keep your property safe. It may not be at the top of your maintenance list, but proper tree trimming can significantly impact your property’s curb appeal, safety, and overall value. Let’s explore the reasons that tree trimming is an essential part of your property maintenance checklist, and how to ensure your rental’s foliage is in the best condition.
The Benefits of Tree Trimming
If you’re looking for motivation to trim your property’s trees, the following benefits can provide a compelling argument.
The most important reason to keep your trees trimmed is for the sake of your rental’s safety. Overgrown trees with dead branches can quickly go from an eyesore to a genuine hazard. In the past few years, our city has seen a number of dramatic windstorms that have downed power lines and caused property damage across the entire area. Falling branches can land on roofs, cars, windows, or even people, causing severe damage and injury. You may face liability issues if you neglect to trim your rental’s trees and a falling branch injures a tenant or guest.
Regular tree trimming reduces the chance of accidents and protects you from potential legal trouble. Investing in tree maintenance demonstrates your commitment to tenant safety, which in turn improves tenant satisfaction.
Boost Curb Appeal
First impressions make a world of difference in real estate. That’s because potential tenants often make snap judgments about a property the moment they see its exterior. With Portland’s bustling rental market, tenants often have a wide variety of options and can shop around for the home of their dreams. That means you can’t afford to let your property’s curb appeal slip if you want to attract quality, long-term tenants.
A well-maintained landscape, including properly trimmed trees, can make your property stand out. Overgrown trees can create a sense of neglect; in some cases, their leaves might also block light from the windows, making your rental look darker. Trimmed trees, on the other hand, lend a neat and well-cared-for appearance that makes tenants feel at home.
Protect Your Property’s Value
A rental property is a long-term investment, and maintaining its value over the years should be a top priority. Without properly caring for your trees, you may find they seriously damage your rental unit. Roots can invade plumbing systems, leading to costly repairs. Overgrown branches can bang and scrape against the exterior, damaging paint and causing structural issues.
Regular tree trimming prevents these issues and protects your property’s value. In addition, having well-maintained and attractive trees will often increase the perceived value of your rental property. This can allow you to charge higher rents and attract tenants willing to pay a premium for a well-kept home.
Should Landlords or Tenants Trim Trees?
Tree trimming is clearly an essential part of maintaining a property. But whose responsibility is it to ensure the rental’s trees are well maintained? Depending on circumstances, trimming trees and foliage may fall to either you as the landlord or your tenants. If you and your tenants have agreed in advance that the tenants will be responsible for tree trimming, make sure that agreement is reflected in your lease.
One benefit of your tenants keeping trees trimmed is that it takes this essential maintenance tasks off your plate. However, you should consider whether the reduced workload is worth the potential tradeoffs.
Depending on the size of trees on your property, it may not be feasible for tenants to trim them. Even with small and manageable trees, your tenants may not stay on top of seasonal maintenance. Many tenants prefer renting to owning because of the reduced burden of home care. So the requirement to trim trees can be a serious drawback. And lastly, if your tenants get hurt while trying to trim trees themselves, you may face liability concerns again.
On the other hand, when you, as the landlord, take on the responsibility of keeping trees trimmed, you can be confident the job will get done when and how you need it. If you have large trees on your property or want the peace of mind of knowing the job is done right, handling tree trimming yourself—whether by DIYing it or hiring a professional—is often the way to go.
DIY Tree Trimming vs. Hiring a Pro
If you’re a hands-on landlord who isn’t managing too many properties, you might be tempted to DIY your tree trimming responsibilities. For properties with smaller trees, that can be a great way to save money. However, tree trimming can be a big—and dangerous—job. It can take a lot of physical strength and coordination, and you risk falling and hurting yourself. If you’re unsure you feel comfortable tackling DIY tree trimming for your rental property, calling a professional is always the smart bet. Tree trimming takes knowledge, skill, and the proper tools. Even if you don’t get hurt, poor tree pruning can damage your tree, which hurts your property value and curb appeal. And because trees grow so slowly, damage done in a single careless moment can affect your rental for years.
Tired of Tree Maintenance?
Tree maintenance is a critical maintenance task that landlords should never overlook. From enhancing curb appeal to improving tenant satisfaction, the benefits of regular tree trimming can greatly enhance your rental property. However, the cost and hassle of keeping trees maintained can pose a challenge, especially to landlords looking to expand their property portfolio while striking a good work-life balance. If you have multiple properties with trees, the responsibility can become overwhelming.
If you’re tired of dealing with contractors or DIYing your tree trimming duties, a property manager like Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew can help. We handle all your property’s maintenance needs with professionalism and care. You can always rely on our on-call team of maintenance specialists to notice every detail and leave no maintenance task unfinished. If you’d like to learn more about how we can keep your property in the best repair and help you attract the best tenants, call or text us at (503) 515-3170 or learn more on our website.