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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Greenwood Rental BackyardAs the weather warms up, a tenant’s green thumb might start itching to start a garden. But since you are a Greenwood 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. Letting your renters plant garden beds in your rental house’s yard comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some things you should consider before allowing your tenant to start digging.

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. To be safe, it is good to check your local ordinances before agreeing to any garden requests.

Potential Advantages

In some cases, having a garden in the backyard may increase your property’s value. This is where your target renter demographic and property location become a relevant consideration. If your tenant really wants that garden, you would make them very happy by agreeing to their request, which will likely entice them to stay longer in your rental. A happy tenant makes for better long-term cash flows, so that garden could be worth the risk.

Costs of Restoration

On the other hand, there are also downsides to allowing your tenant to put garden beds in the yard. For example, if the current tenant leaves, you might end up with the job of restoring the yard to its original condition. This might include costs that your tenant’s security deposit cannot fully cover so you will be paying out of your own pocket to complete the job.

Neglect by Future Tenants

You will also have to worry about what happens 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. The additional burden of yard maintenance could lead to overall neglect of the property’s landscaping, and could possibly threaten your property values and bring other problems.

Consider Compromise

Instead of an outright refusal of your tenant’s request for garden beds, you can offer a compromise instead. Instead of large garden beds, maybe you can settle for flower beds along a walkway or under a window. Or you can approve the use of large containers for their garden project, such as raised planters or tubs. These would look good on a patio or somewhere that would not damage the existing landscape while still letting your tenant 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.

At the same time, you don’t have to make the difficult decisions about your investment property all by yourself. At Real Property Management Indianapolis Metro, we have experienced Greenwood 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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