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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Westchase Rental BackyardAs the weather warms up, a tenant’s green thumb might start itching to start a garden. But as a Westchase landlord, your focus will be on the growing value of your investment property. A tenant’s desire for a garden can sometimes be at odds with your need to protect your property from changes, however small. Permitting your renters to plant garden beds in the yard of your rental house comes with its own set of pros and cons. Before you allow your tenant to start digging, you should consider these important aspects.

Local Ordinances

Many towns have laws prohibiting residential owners from growing gardens, especially in the front yard. Some have restrictions on the type of plants that can be grown or how much water a property resident can use. It is a must to research your local ordinances before agreeing to any garden requests.

Potential Advantages

Sometimes, your property’s value may increase by having a garden in the backyard. This is dependent on your target renter demographic and where your property is located. Allowing your tenant to have the garden they want badly could make them happy and encourage them to stay in your rental longer. Happy tenants usually result in better long-term cash flow, and it will be worth the risk to let them plant their garden.

Costs of Restoration

On the other hand, you also have to consider the disadvantages of allowing your tenant to put garden beds in the yard. For instance, if your current tenant leaves, the job of restoring the yard to its original condition could fall on you. This will likely include costs that may or may not be fully covered by their security deposit, meaning you will have to pay out of pocket to finish the restoration.

Neglect by Future Tenants

Another potential drawback is what would happen to the garden beds when your tenant leaves. If you decide to keep the garden beds, there is no guarantee that your next tenant will want to maintain them as well. Instead of helping, the added burden of yard maintenance could lead to overall neglect of the property’s landscaping and might threaten your property values.

Consider Compromise

Even if you decline your tenant’s request for garden beds, you can offer them a compromise instead. You could approve some flower beds along a walkway or under a window instead of larger garden beds. You can also agree to let them use large containers for their garden projects, such as raised planters or tubs. They can place these on a patio or somewhere discreet so as not to damage the existing landscaping while still allowing your tenant to enjoy growing things.

When it comes to tenant garden beds, it’s important to look at all aspects of the question before making your decision. Each property and situation will require different responses, so only you can decide.

You can also have help in making difficult decisions about your investment property. At Real Property Management Affiliates, we have experienced Westchase property managers who work with rental property investors like you to help handle tenant requests and protect your property’s value. Contact us today to learn more.

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