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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Lakeland Rental BackyardIf your tenant has a green thumb, the warm weather might get them excited with the idea of starting a garden. But as a Lakeland 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. 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

There are many towns that have laws prohibiting residential property owners from growing a garden, usually in the front yard. Some restrict the type of plants that can be grown or how much water a property resident can use. This is why you have to research your local ordinances before approving 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 a garden that badly, agreeing to it could make them so happy, which could encourage 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, 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. This will definitely include costs that may or may not be fully covered by their security deposit. You will have to pay from your own pocket to get the job done.

Neglect by Future Tenants

If you allow garden beds, you will have to worry about what happens to them when your current tenant leaves. If you decide to keep the garden beds, you cannot be certain that your next tenant has the capability or desire to keep them tidy. This could mean additional yard maintenance and may lead to overall neglect of the property’s landscaping, which would threaten your property values and creates other problems for you.

Consider Compromise

You can refuse your tenant’s request for garden beds, and 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. You can also agree to let them use large containers for their garden projects, such as raised planters or tubs. These can be placed on a patio or someplace where it would not damage the existing landscaping but still let your tenant enjoy the pleasures 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. As each property and situation is different, the final decision is really up to you.

You do not need to make difficult decisions pertaining to your investment property all on your own. At Real Property Management Empire, we have experienced Lakeland 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.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.