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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Berryville 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 because you are a Berryville landlord, you will mostly be interested in increasing the value of your property. A tenant’s desire for a garden can sometimes be at odds with your need to protect your property from changes, however small. There are a number of both pros and cons of allowing your renters to plant garden beds in the yard of your rental house. Before permitting your tenant to start digging, here are some things you should consider.

Local Ordinances

It may come as a surprise that many towns have laws that prohibit residential property owners from growing a garden, especially 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. It is due diligence to research your local ordinances prior to agreeing to any garden requests.

Potential Advantages

In some cases, your property’s value may increase if you have a garden in the backyard. This depends on what your target renter demographic is and where your property is located. 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. Letting them plant their garden may be worth the risk because a happy tenant often results in better long-term cash flows.

Costs of Restoration

On the other hand, there are also downsides to allowing your tenant to put garden beds in the yard. For one, you could be stuck with the job of restoring the yard to its original condition if your current tenant leaves. 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

Another potential drawback is what would happen to the garden beds when your tenant leaves. If you decide to keep the garden beds, you cannot guarantee that the next tenant will want or know how to keep them tidy and weed-free. This could mean additional yard maintenance and may lead to overall neglect of the property’s landscaping, which would threaten your property values and create other problems for you.

Consider Compromise

Even if you decide to decline your tenant’s request for garden beds, you can offer them a compromise instead. You could agree to some new flower beds along a walkway or under a window instead of larger garden beds. Or allow them to 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. Since each property and situation is different, you are the only one who can decide.

However, you don’t have to make all these difficult decisions about your investment property all on your own. At Real Property Management Elevation, we have experienced Berryville 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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