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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Foster City 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 Foster City 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

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

Sometimes, your property’s value may increase by having 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. Allowing your tenant to have the garden they want badly could make them happy and encourage them to stay in your rental longer. 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 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. 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

You will also have to worry about what happens 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. 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

Even after you have decided to decline your tenant’s request for garden beds, you can offer them a compromise instead. Instead of large garden beds, maybe you can settle for flower beds along a walkway or under a window. Or you can approve the use of large containers for their garden project, 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. Since each property and situation is different, you are the only one who can decide.

However, you don’t have to make all these difficult decisions about your investment property all on your own. At Real Property Management Mid Peninsula, we have experienced Foster City 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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