DIY Landscaping for Rental Property Curb Appeal

It is easy for landlords to get caught up in improving the overall appeal of the inside of a home. After all, that is where your tenants will spend most of their time. But the outward appearance of your rental property is as important, if not more, because it is the very first impression prospective renters get at an open house or virtual inspection. 

Some property owners shy away from making changes to the house’s exterior for fear that it is an expensive undertaking. While it can be, there are also inexpensive and straightforward ways to improve the curb appeal yourself. 

In this article, we’ll share with you some DIY landscaping tips. 

1. Clean up the yard

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You’ll be surprised how much difference a simple clean-up can make to the appearance of your yard. Many prospective tenants will consider a home run down if the yard is a mess. So before getting into more professional DIY, start with a clean-up. 

If there are overgrown trees or shrubs in your garden, prune them with a pair of clippers. Weeds are a common sight in a neglected garden, so make sure you remove them. Rather than pulling all of them out manually, you can buy a weed killer at the store to save some time and effort. 

Maintain the grass as well; several sections of uneven or patchy grass look unattractive. You might suffice for simply mowing the lawn, or you can go the extra mile by adding fertilizer. 

2. Create a patio

There are two reasons you should consider sectioning off a portion of your property to create a patio or some other form of hardscape like a terrace. The first is that it reduces the land that needs regular attention like grass, flowers, and trees. Horticulture needs some form of maintenance, and some tenants would prefer to keep it to the barest minimum. 

Secondly, it provides a great outdoor recreational space that will boost the appearance of your home. 

Now, if you’re interested in building a patio yourself, there are inexpensive materials made from wood, stone or tiles that are pretty easy to assemble. However, you can recruit a landscaper or a landscape designer to help with the process. 

If you already have a patio, clean it up as well. You can opt for a thin layer of gravel or an outdoor rug to cover unattractive portions. 

3. Renovate the pathways 

Pathways are common over areas where people usually walk. If you have a wide square footage dedicated to grass, the last thing you want is anyone stepping on it. So if you don’t already have a pathway, you should install one. 

The walkway leads prospective tenants from the outside to the inside of the house. From the moment they step out of the car, they start imagining what it would be like to follow that path every day. Rather than leave their imagination to chance, spruce up the pathway by removing stubborn weeds and shrubs growing around it. Certain sections of the walkway might have sustained wear and tear over time, consider replacing that part, which is fairly easy if the material is wood, stone, or asphalt. You can even do the same for the driveway. 

4. Install low maintenance plants

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Plants add a pop of life to your property, and there are low-maintenance ones that are easy for both you and your tenants to manage. 

Local flora is a good investment because they are already in their habitat and require less supplemental water, fertilizer,  and care, compared to their imported counterparts. They’re not only beautiful to look at, they’re pretty pocket-friendly. 

You could also undertake the one-time expense of installing a raised garden bed. That can give your tenants the option of planting their choice of flowers or vegetables while minimizing the havoc of weeds. 

5. Install a shade

Most people stay indoors during extreme temperatures in the summer, but a shaded area on the property can be a welcome change of environment from the heat inside. 

You don’t have to install anything as grand as a gazebo. There are portable and inexpensive permanent shades you can install over your patio or terrace. 

This simple addition will make your outdoor space a lot cozier. It’ll also act as an excellent spot for small get-togethers like barbecues which will boost the attractiveness of your home to tenants that like to host. 

6. Add more lighting

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If you’re adding a shade, don’t forget to install some lighting to go with it. If not, you’re limiting the area to being useful only during the day. Plus, it can be a security hazard if sections of your curb are dimly lit. 

You can opt for some economically priced outdoor lights or go with some stringed lights like Christmas lights. Those can add a festive mood to your property and make it more appealing. 

7. Add accessories 

There are accessories you can add to your lawn to spice it up and make it more attractive. Garden sculptures, birdbaths, and miniature statues can add some character to your property.

When adding accessories to your outdoor space, a crucial thing to note is to be wary of over-personalizing it. While they can add more soul to the yard, they can be off-putting to some tenants if they are too specific. As a rule, you should stick with neutral colors over brightly colored or patterned designs.

Also, don’t overdo it. One or two elegant pieces will be enough to create an aesthetic look without leaving prospective renters overwhelmed. 


In real estate, every landlord’s goal is to attract the most qualified tenants. Better landscaping can go a long way in improving your curb appeal and the overall outlook of your house, giving you more confidence in asking for a higher price. 

However, not every property owner has enough time or energy to dedicate towards making these changes or keeping up with the maintenance. That’s where property managers come into play. As your representative, they can stand in for you by either landscaping the property themselves or hiring someone qualified to do it.

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