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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Fall River Rental BackyardIf you have a tenant with a green thumb, you will likely get a request to start a garden when the weather starts to warm up. But since you are a Fall River landlord, your interest is more on growing the 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 giving your tenant permission to start digging, you should consider some important aspects.

Local Ordinances

Your town might be one of many that have laws that prohibit residential property owners from having a garden, at least in the front yard. Others restrict the types of plants that can be grown or the total volume of water a property resident can use. This is why you have to research your local ordinances before approving any garden requests.

Potential Advantages

In some cases, your property’s value may increase if you have a garden in the backyard. This is where your target renter demographic and property location become a relevant consideration. If your tenant really wants a garden, allowing them to do so 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 must consider the downsides of allowing your tenant to put garden beds in the yard. For one, if your current tenant leaves, you may be stuck with the task of restoring the yard to its original condition. Your tenant’s security deposit may not cover the entire cost of the job, which means you will be paying out of your own pocket to get it done.

Neglect by Future Tenants

What will happen to the garden beds when your current 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. For instance, you could let them have some new flower beds along a walkway or under a window instead of larger garden beds. Or, you can consider agreeing 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. Every property and situation will be different, so you are the only one who can make the final decision.

You can also have help in making difficult decisions about your investment property. At Real Property Management Success, we have experienced Fall River 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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