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Tenants, Green Thumbs, and Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed Growing Tomatoes in Ellsworth Rental BackyardWhen the weather starts to warm up, it can generally get a tenant’s green thumb itching to start a garden. However, as an Ellsworth landlord, you are usually more concerned in increasing the value of your investment property. A tenant’s yearning for a garden can from time to time be at odds with your need to protect your property from changes, however small. Allowing your renters to plant garden beds in the yard of your rental house comes with some pros and cons. Before you give your tenant permission to start digging, here are a couple of critical issues to think about.

Local Ordinances

It may shock you to know that multiple towns have laws that prohibit residential property owners from growing a garden, at least in the front yard. Others may have restrictions on what type of plants can be grown or how much water any one property resident can use. This is why you need to inquire first about your local ordinances when allowing any garden requests.

Potential Advantages

Having a garden in the backyard may increase the value of your property in certain cases. It relies largely on your target renter demographic and where your property is located. If your tenant yearns for a garden very badly, giving them one could make them very happy, which will presumably induce them to stay in your rental longer. A happy tenant typically results in better long-term cash flows, so it may be worth the risk to allow them to plant their garden.

Costs of Restoration

But at the same time, it’s significant to also consider the downsides of allowing your tenant to put garden beds in the yard. For illustration, if your current tenant leaves, you may be stuck with the charge of restoring the yard to its original condition. This will certainly include costs that may or may not be fully covered by their security deposit, which actually means you’ll be paying out of pocket to get it completed.

Neglect by Future Tenants

Another would-be issue to allowing garden beds is what happens when your current tenant vacates the property. If you make up your mind to keep the garden beds, there is no assurance that your next tenant will have the skills or plan to keep them tidy and weed-free. The added difficulty of yard maintenance could cause overall neglect of the property’s landscaping, which would endanger your property values and create headaches for you.

Consider Compromise

Even in the case you’ve already made up your mind to refuse your tenant’s request for garden beds, you could think of offering a compromise instead. As an instance, maybe you could allow some new flower beds along a walkway or under a window instead of larger garden beds. Or, take into consideration permitting a number of large containers for their garden project, similar to raised planters or tubs. These can be posted on a patio or in a discreet location not to damage existing landscaping but, nevertheless, still let your tenant feel the joy of growing things.

When it comes to tenant garden beds, it’s necessary to look at all aspects of the question just before making your decision. Each property and situation is different, so ultimately, only you can decide.


But in fact, you don’t need to make difficult decisions about your investment property all on your own. At Real Property Management Acadia, we have experienced Ellsworth property managers who partner up and work closely 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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