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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Broken Arrow 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 Broken Arrow 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 pros and cons to permitting your renters to plant garden beds in the yard of your rental house. 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. 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

Having a backyard garden could increase the value of your property in some cases. 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. Happy tenants usually make for better long-term cash flows, so it may be worth the risk to let them push through with that garden.

Costs of Restoration

On the other hand, there are also downsides to 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 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

What will happen to the garden beds when your current 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. 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 decide to 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. Or, you can consider agreeing to let them use large containers for their garden projects, such as raised planters or tubs. These can be displayed on a patio or in a place where it won’t damage the existing landscape but still give your tenant the joy of 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.

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