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Are Fruit Trees a Good Fit for a Rental Property?

Two Kirkland Renters Picking Fruit Off A Tree In Their YardYou may have heard that you can boost your rental rate for your Kirkland rental property if the landscaping includes a tree or two. And there is some good evidence to back that claim. What you should note, though, is that the type of tree you plant has an impact on your cash flows. Not all kinds of trees, however, are suitable for a rental situation.

The real question is actually if planting fruit trees on a rental property is a smart idea. Given that there are no rules about which type of tree is best, and knowing that different trees grow better in different climates, it is vital that you consider all aspects of fruit trees in question before you decide.

The Best Trees for Rental Properties

A profitable rental property has great curb appeal. And having one or more shady trees in the yard adds to that curb appeal. In a nutshell, the best trees for a rental property would be those that thrive in your climate, over visual appeal and shade, and are also easy to maintain. These trees are actually not hard to find. Trees that fit the bill in many parts of the country include evergreen arborvitae, spruce, flowering dogwoods, and maple trees. You can also go for oak and desert willow for your rental properties. In addition to being able to grow well and offer shade relatively quickly, they don’t need to be pruned often from year to year.

The Skinny on Fruit Trees

Some Kirkland property managers might suggest planting a fruit tree as a feature in your rental house. Some renters also like the idea that you can grow and eat fruit straight from the yard. But unless your tenant has experience in the care and maintenance of fruit trees and has time to do the job well, fruit trees can be an unwanted burden. For many renters, the time and effort required to take care of fruit trees are big enough of a drawback that they may not even apply for a rental that has them.

Seeing that the best trees for rental properties are low-maintenance, that would exclude fruit trees altogether. A big reason for foregoing fruit trees at a rental property is the mess and maintenance that comes with them. Fruit trees usually take years of care before they produce fruit. Some are also very picky about heat, cold, watering amounts, and the like.

Fruit trees also need to be properly pruned and fumigated to produce edible fruit every year. Something most people don’t know much about. In addition, fruit often attracts unwanted insects and rodents, which can be a problem your tenant won’t enjoy dealing with. If you or your tenant are not willing to put in the time and effort to care for the fruit trees, it is probably best to avoid them.

Fruit Trees in the Lease Documents

If you are willing to accept the responsibility of having fruit trees on your rental property, you need to stipulate in your lease your tenant’s obligations where those trees are concerned. It is not enough to merely assign landscaping maintenance to your tenant as they may not realize that this includes regular pruning and clean-up after fruit trees, which is a lot of extra work. If you will not be taking care of the trees yourself, be sure that your lease documents stipulate that the tenants need to care for the trees or you can hire a professional to do it for them.

At Real Property Management Eclipse, we work with rental property owners like you to help create beautiful, low-maintenance landscaping your tenants won’t mind keeping up. Contact us today to learn more.

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