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Are Fruit Trees a Good Fit for a Rental Property?

Two Dupont Circle Renters Picking Fruit Off A Tree In Their YardSomeone might have told you that having a tree or two in your Dupont Circle rental property’s landscaping can help boost your rental rate. And, indeed, there is evidence that supports this. But you must also know that the type of tree you plant will also influence how much your cash flows increase. Not all kinds of trees are suited for a rental situation.

Actually, the real question is whether planting fruit trees on a rental property is a good move. There are no hard and fast rules about which type of tree is best, considering different trees grow better in different climates, but you have to consider all aspects of fruit trees before making your final decision.

The Best Trees for Rental Properties

A profitable rental property has great curb appeal. And a usual part of the curb appeal is a beautiful shady tree in the yard. 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. Other great options for rental properties are oak and desert willow. 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

Your Dupont Circle property manager might think that a fruit tree would be a good feature in your rental house. Some renters also like the idea that you can grow and eat fruit straight from the yard. But if your tenant is not experienced in caring for and maintaining fruit trees or doesn’t have the time to do the job, fruit trees can end up becoming an unwanted burden. For some renters, the work required by fruit trees can be a big drawback, so they may not even apply for a rental that has them.

Since the best trees for rental properties are low-maintenance, that excludes fruit trees altogether. The biggest possible reason to avoid fruit trees at a rental property is the mess and maintenance that comes with them. Most fruit trees take years of care and growth before they start bearing fruit. Some are also very picky about heat, cold, watering amounts, and the like.

Fruit trees also need proper pruning and fumigation in order to produce fruit every year. Most people do not know much about this, either. In addition to that, fruit often attracts unwanted insects and rodents which can be a problem your tenant would prefer not to deal with. If you or your tenant will not be able to put in the time and effort required to care for fruit trees, it is probably better to avoid them altogether.

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 assign landscaping maintenance to your tenant; they may not realize that this includes regular pruning and clean-up after fruit trees, which is a lot of extra work. So, if you do not intend to take care of the trees yourself, make sure to lay it out in your lease documents that the tenants need to care for the trees or hire a professional to do it for them.

At Real Property Management DC Metro, 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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