Down to cash
I’ll be honest, taking a poke at landlords makes me smile. And I will be talking about landscaping, not greed, even though that part would make me rant for fifteen-hundred words. Easy. My own landlord illegally increased my rent last year by thirty-five percent, saying I had to pay ‘market-rates’. Really?
So it comes down to cash. Landlords are getting greedy because in the current housing mess they know they can be. There aren’t enough affordable apartments available and they know it.
Some landlords I work for do the bare minimum with their landscapes to save cash. So the work I do is reactive: I put out fires when things get out of hand.
For example, I had to prune a Berberis shrub that was growing wild by the driveway. Because it was allowed to mature and produce big woody stems, I elected to hand prune it, hard. It could have been pruned more frequently but that costs money. When the hand pruning took a bit longer, the landlord had some reservations about the size of my invoice.
Now, let’s take a look at the back lawn where the renter’s kids play.
Now, I’m not judging anybody but this landlord knows where to find me. Leaving the lawn covered in soggy cherry leaves is bad for the grass. It turns yellow and dies; and it will look like hell in spring. Not that it was in great shape at any time last year.
If the renter’s kids slipped on soggy patio leaves it wouldn’t surprise me. The only work I’m supposed to do here is remove some of the cherry tree branches touching the house. Sure. That sounds like great winter work. Goodbye green lawn!
How long has this been let go? Landlords collect their rents and invest their revenues. This house generates about six thousand dollars in rents monthly while my landscaping fees are tiny compared to that. And yet, the landscape is let go until there is a fire to put out. Like cherry trees touching the building or prickly brambles climbing over the fence, making the backyard unusable for the renter’s kids.
If you are a landlord, then definitely consider hiring a landscaper for regular visits. If you are a renter, then definitely insist that your landlord pay for regular landscape upkeep. That way the kids have somewhere safe to play.
If the landscape looks like hell, the landlord did it!