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Tenant Reactions to Improvements in Curb Appeal


Curb appeal is a term used to refer to the exterior appearance of a property that is observable from the street. It’s a very important factor when it comes to attempting to attract and retain tenants. Here we discuss how tenants react to improvements in the curb appeal of their rental properties.

What Makes Up Curb Appeal?

There are many characteristics of a property that define its exterior appearance, or its curb appeal. If potential tenants are to be impressed, a property must present well with things like:

  • Well maintained landscaping and lawns
  • Freshly painted siding and shutters
  • Pristine windows, doors and porches
  • Brightly colored entries and walkways
  • Adequate lighting
  • Neat and clean rubbish cans and garbage area
  • General maintenance of the property

Tenant Reactions

Tenants are attracted to rental properties with good curb appeal, which is why real estate investors strive to maintain and update the exterior of their rental properties. This is typically done to spruce up the entire building, as well as the individual units. Common reactions from tenants include:

  • Pride in their home, which often carries over to respect for your property and respect for their neighbors
  • Increased attraction to your rental, thus resulting in a shorter vacancy period
  • Better rental rates due to the overall higher quality of your rental property
  • A greater sense of security due to the overall maintenance and lighting of your property

When tenants are enticed by a property’s curb appeal, they are more likely to take special care of the property and lease space for a longer duration of time. If a property looks old, or is associated with something negative, it could lead to potential tenants not even considering to view it.

Ways in which to Boost Curb Appeal

There are very simple ways in which curb appeal can be improved. On a budget, consider the following:

  • Power washing siding and roofs
  • Adding a coat of paint to siding and shutters
  • Maintaining windows and trimmings
  • Adding seasonal flowers, plants and shrubs
  • Removing garbage and debris
  • Replacing any broken steps/railings
  • Adding outdoor string lights and lanterns
  • Installing a fence or gate

The Benefits of Improved Curb Appeal

Improvements to the property’s curb appeal can result in a host of benefits, such as:

  • Increased pride of ownership
  • Shorter vacancy periods
  • Higher rental rate demand
  • Lower cost of maintenance

Curb Appeal and Its Relationship to Property Value

The value of one’s rental property is not only related to the building structure and quality of its assets but also to its curb appeal. A property that looks well maintained and presented will often fetch higher rental income, as well as a higher sale price.

How to Invest Wisely in Curb Appeal

Real estate investors can easily increase their rental property’s curb appeal without having to break the bank. An investor’s focus should be on the exterior of their rental property – the look of the building and its surrounding grounds.

It’s important to determine what needs to be improved and invest where it makes sense. This means targeting the most visible areas, such as siding and paint, landscaping and lights.

The Maintenance Schedule

It is also important to establish a maintenance schedule to ensure the curb appeal of a rental property is kept at a desirable level. While everyday cleaning and maintenance should be expected, an investor should also factor in the occasional renovation.

Regularly scheduled maintenance should include: cleaning walkways and driveways, replacing broken windows, repairing damaged siding and shutters, trimming shrubbery and tending to gardens, and general maintenance such as changing batteries in smoke alarms, light bulbs, etc.

What Not to Do

When attempting to improve the curb appeal of a rental property, it’s important to not go overboard. A property that is overly landscaped or decorated can be too imposing and off-putting.

Also, investors should be wary of any construction or renovation that doesn’t add value to the property. By investing too much or in the wrong areas, it could actually devalue the property.

Curb Appeal and Tenant Retention

By maintaining the exterior appearance of a rental property and keeping up with regular maintenance, investors also stand to gain in tenant retention. This is because tenants feel comfortable in an environment that is well maintained. It sends a message of care and concern, and is indicative of other positive attributes such as security.

It’s important to note that tenants are more likely to stay in a rental property if they are happy and comfortable with the property’s curb appeal.


In conclusion, it’s important for real estate investors to realize the importance of curb appeal and the impact it has on the success of their rental properties. Curb appeal can be easily improved with small investments and regular maintenance, and proper improvements will result in an increase in tenant retention and rental revenue. With that in mind, the goal of any investor should be to ensure their rental property has a great curb appeal in order to attract and retain tenants.

What methods can a landlord use to improve curb appeal for tenants?

1. Paint and touch up the exterior of the building, including the siding and trim.

2. Invest in landscaping, such as adding shrubs or trees, edging the walkways, and maintaining the grass.

3. Hang outdoor lighting fixtures that provide plenty of illumination and a sense of security.

4. Place outdoor furniture, ideally made of weather-resistant materials, in attractive layouts on the property.

5. Hang window boxes or flowerpots filled with colorful flowers and plants.

6. Install outdoor seating areas for tenants to enjoy.

7. Invest in outdoor amenities such as fire pits and grills.

8. Add water features, such as a fountain or pond.

9. Keep the area clean of debris, such as dead plants, litter, and other eyesores.

10. Install artwork and other decorative outdoor items.

What kind of landscaping can landlords do to improve curb appeal?

Landlords can do a variety of landscaping to improve curb appeal, including:

– Planting colorful perennials, annuals, and shrubs

– Designing outdoor living areas with benches, garden beds, and patio pavers

– Installing an outdoor lighting system

– Installing outdoor water features, such as a fountain or pond

– Adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit

– Adding a lawn or pathway in front of the property

– Planting trees for shade

– Mulching beds

– Creating hardscapes, such as retaining walls, seating, or outdoor kitchens.

What type of grass is best for curb appeal landscaping?

The type of grass that works best for curb appeal landscaping depends on the climate and the amount of sunlight the area receives. Warm-weather grasses such as Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine are good options for sunny and warm climates, while cool-season grasses such as rye, bluegrass, and fescue may be better choices in climates with cooler temperatures.

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