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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Cresskill Rental BackyardWhen the weather warms up, it can sometimes get a tenant’s green thumb itching to start a garden. But as a Cresskill landlord, you are always looking to protect 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. Letting your renters plant garden beds in your rental house’s yard comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Before giving your tenant permission to start digging, you should consider some 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 what type of plants one can grow or how much water any one property resident can use. It is a must to research your local ordinances before 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 is especially true if it fits the profile of your target renter demographics and the location of your property. 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, there are also disadvantages 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. 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

What will happen to the garden beds when your current tenant leaves? If you decide to, you will be keeping the garden beds without a guarantee that the next tenant has the ability or desire to handle the upkeep. The additional yard maintenance, if not done well, could lead to overall neglect of the property’s landscaping, which would threaten your property values and possibly create more problems for you.

Consider Compromise

Even after you have decided 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, 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. 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 Concierge, we have experienced Cresskill 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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