outdoor spaces for rentals

Are your properties’ outdoor spaces tenant friendly?

Gone are the days where traditional multifamily apartment complexes fit the needs of today’s modern renters.   With the American renting population steadily growing, rental properties with amenities that resemble home-ownership are growing  in popularity.  Renters are looking for long term rental properties with updated features that are conducive for entertaining and enjoying time spent with friends and family.

Gaining in popularity are features that improve outdoor spaces that promote socializing and recreation.  In a study by the American Institute of Architects, a 2014 Home Design Trend Survey reported the demand for outdoor living spaces was up 33 percent from 2013.  In a similar report from The American Society of Landscape Architects , the most popular residential designs for outdoor spaces included kitchens and entertainment spaces that involved fireplaces, grills, seating and dining areas.

Property management firms and private landlords can look to these home design trends to develop the outdoor areas of their rental properties into entertainment spaces that will help fill vacancies with long term, satisfied tenants.  Whether a renter or homeowner, Americans are looking to get more enjoyment out of their outdoor spaces and yards that are attractive, low-maintenance, and sustainable.

For apartment communities and multifamily properties, installing a barbecue or outdoor grill heightens a sense of community and encourages tenants to use outdoor facilities more often.  Offering protected outdoor seating in these areas will ensure your outdoor space gets year round use, despite rainy weather or hot summer days.

To improve sustainability and reduce maintenance requirements, there are a few ways landlords can develop outdoor landscapes into areas that are inviting and frequented by tenants:

  • Say Goodbye to Grass:  Lawns can take a lot of work (and a lot of water) to look plush and, well, green. A grass free landscape with gravel and flagstone paths, concrete patio areas, and low-maintenance, drought resistant plants can be attractive and user friendly. Low-maintenance outdoor spaces require little upkeep and will look better throughout the year, even if you have lazy tenants or want to save money on your own lawn maintenance efforts.
  • Garden areas and window boxes are simple ways to promote sustainability on your property and incorporate fresh vegetation into your landscape.  Creating designated garden areas on your rental property work well on both single family properties and multifamily communities to encourage healthy lifestyles among your tenants.

An investment in outdoor landscaping can generate high returns by increasing property value and providing additional living space.  Developing  your outdoor spaces can help property management firms and private landlords fill vacancies faster with long term tenants.