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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Goose Creek Rental BackyardAs the weather warms up, a tenant’s green thumb might start itching to start a garden. But as a Goose Creek 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

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

Potential Advantages

Having a backyard garden could increase the value of your property in some cases. This depends on what your target renter demographic is and where your property is located. 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. 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 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

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, you cannot be certain that your next tenant has the capability or desire to keep them tidy. 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

Instead of an outright refusal of your tenant’s request for garden beds, you can offer a compromise instead. You could agree to 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 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. 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 Charleston, we have experienced Goose Creek 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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