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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Gallatin Valley Rental BackyardAs the weather warms up, a tenant’s green thumb might start itching to start a garden. But because you are a Gallatin Valley 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 both pros and cons of allowing 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. Some have restrictions on the type of plants that can be grown or how much water a 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 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. A happy tenant makes for better long-term cash flows, so that garden could be worth the risk.

Costs of Restoration

On the other hand, there are also disadvantages to allowing your tenant to put garden beds in the yard. For example, if the current tenant leaves, you might end up with the job of restoring the yard to its original condition. 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

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 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 create other problems for you.

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. Or allow them to 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. Since each property and situation is different, you are the only one who can decide.

You can also have help in making difficult decisions about your investment property. At Real Property Management Bozeman, we have experienced Gallatin Valley 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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