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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Jacksonville Rental BackyardIf your tenant has a green thumb, the warm weather might get them excited with the idea of starting a garden. But since you are a Jacksonville landlord, your interest is more on growing the 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. Permitting your renters to plant garden beds in the yard of your rental house comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here are some things you should consider before allowing your tenant to start digging.

Local Ordinances

There are many towns that have laws prohibiting residential property owners from growing a garden, usually in the front yard. Others restrict what type of plants one can grow or how much water any one property resident can use. This is why you have to research your local ordinances before approving any garden requests.

Potential Advantages

In some cases, having a garden in the backyard may increase your property’s value. This is where your target renter demographic and property location become a relevant consideration. 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, 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, 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 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

Even if you decide 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 approve the use of large containers for their garden project, such as raised planters or tubs. They can place these on a patio or somewhere discreet so as not to damage the existing landscaping while still allowing your tenant to 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.

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