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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Kaneohe Rental BackyardWhen the weather warms up, it can sometimes get a tenant’s green thumb itching to start a garden. But as a Kaneohe 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. Here are some things you should consider before allowing your tenant to start digging.

Local Ordinances

It may come as a surprise that many towns have laws that prohibit residential property owners from growing a garden, especially 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 due diligence to research your local ordinances prior to agreeing to any garden requests.

Potential Advantages

In some cases, having a garden in the backyard may increase your property’s value. This depends on what your target renter demographic is and where your property is located. 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. 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, you also have to consider the disadvantages of allowing your tenant to put garden beds in the yard. For one, you could be stuck with the job of restoring the yard to its original condition if your current tenant leaves. 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

Another potential drawback is what would happen to the garden beds when your 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. 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

You can refuse your tenant’s request for garden beds, and offer them a compromise instead. You could approve some 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 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. As each property and situation is different, the final decision is really up to you.

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