Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided to allow pet-owning tenant(s), the next decision tackles the issue of maintaining attractive landscaping and pet-friendly premises. Brown patches and animal waste are just a few of the potential negative side-effects pets can have on grass and landscaping.
Remember that the burden does not fall solely on you. Pet-owning tenants can provide assistance by meeting certain requirements. These will vary depending on property type — single-family homes may be easier to regulate than apartment complexes, for example. Below are five ways you and your tenants can keep your landscape looking great.
1. Have a specific animal relief area (or areas)
This will limit any potential damage and yield easier treatments, grass burns, for example, would be in specific areas, not scattered everywhere on the property. For complexes, waste stations with disposal bags and a regularly emptied trash can will further encourage tenants to clean up after their pets and simplify the process.
2. Install fake grass
Fake grass is an excellent option to further mitigate damage. Fake grass, or artificial turf, comes in many colors to match the natural landscape and is easy to clean. By requiring less upkeep than a natural lawn, fake grass saves you and your tenants time and money in the long run. There are many different types of fake lawns, but the best ones are fully permeable for faster drainage, lessening the risk of odors or moisture damage.
3. Recommend tenants give their pets urine neutralizers
Repeated bathroom usage in one area can cause yellow spots in natural lawns. If fake grass isn’t a feasible option for your landscaping, urine neutralizer treats for dogs assist in stopping yellow spots before they appear. There are a variety of options online and in stores.
4. Incorporate a regular lawn fertilization schedule
While keeping your grass green with a regular fertilization schedule is critical, not just any fertilizer will do the trick. Dog urine is high in nitrogen, which contributes to yard spottings. Many lawn fertilizers also contain high nitrogen levels, but yards are prone to receiving ample doses. Look for a fertilizer with a balanced mix of nutrients. Remember that pets should be kept away from grass for 24-72 hours after fertilization for safety reasons.
5. Allot the responsibility of lawn upkeep to the renter
It will be prudent to mention lawn quality in the lease and indicate the withholding of sufficient security deposit funds, should you need to remedy landscape damage. This is applicable to single-family homes with one lessee, with the responsibility given either in conjunction with the presence of fertilization, fake grass, etc. or on its own with the tenant in control of the “how.”
However, you choose to keep your landscaping beautiful, make your expectations clear from the beginning. Take advantage of these tips to keep your property looking great and “show ready” for the next potential tenant at any given time. For assistance mastering any and all parts of your pet policy to give you the best ROI, consider partnering with OurPetPolicy.