Landscape allowance for tenant?

zone_8grandmaAugust 14, 2006

Reading the long (and interesting) thread about the bad tenant made me realize how fortunate we are. My husband has a rental house in a city about 40 miles from us. My son manages the property. For the last year we've had a tenant who pays the rent on time and takes very good care of the inside (it was completely renovated a year ago). Apparently she is now becoming interested in making the outside look nice as well and is asking for some help with the cost. My son suggested a landscape allowance of $250/year to encourage her. It sounds like a good idea to me.

Would that be about right? Thoughts? Opinions?


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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I would suggest you make things very clear about the landscape thing. I for one, love plants, shrubs, flowers, and veggies, but life, energy, time, weather, and numerous other things have resulted in many terribly weedy, unkept areas here. Most say I have way too much to take care of, but that is another story.

I think it is nice to want to be such a good and caring landlord. I would maybe first define one small areat that they can use as they please, and offer some allowance to cover plants,shrubs, and go from there. Another idea, might be to split the cost of what is purchased (plants, shrubs, fertilizer, Preen, soil amendments, edging, mulch,)for the one small specified area. That will encourage the renter, to plant, water, and care for it, if they too have some $$$ invested in it. If she is a 'new to gardening' person, she may not realize what work(play), expence, and commitment it takes to have nice healthy plants.

Possibly she would like to experiment with container gardening, if she hasn't already. Then if she finds it is more of a commitment than she can handle, not much will be lost, by either of you.

Maybe give them an area and a small allowance ($50), and let them start small, maybe buying from discounted racks, starting things from seeds, or trading for things at so many of the trading forums. Since I doubt she/he would have anything much plantwise to trade (other than maybe cuttings from stuff already there), there is a Garden Exchange here, where one can trade other 'stuff' for plants or garden related things.

I'm just assuming she has a computer and internet for recreation.


Here is a link that might be useful: The Garden Exchange

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 1:36PM
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when my wife and i rented a house it was in oour lease the WE were responsible for maintaining the lawn and flower beds in a presentable manner. We could add what ever we pleased, but at our own expense. when we moved we could either leave things there, or if we removed anything we had added we were to fill in any holes in the beds and make them look as they did before any changes.

I would tell the tenant that you would be willing to help out, but any hardscape that you pay for STAYS if she leaves, or she may buy it from you. if you split the cost then she can purchase your half at original cost. as far as plants go, let her do as she pleases. if she plants something invasive, require that she remove it before she leaves.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 1:57PM
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It's a generous idea, but approach with caution. We had a tenant who added numerous plants, garden beds, landscaping timbers at shared expense. We paid for the landscape timbers and some rock. It looked nice while she was there; however once she moved, the last 3 tenants could care less and the entire place has gone to weeds, thistles, etc. Granted, we've seen a decline in the quality of tenants, but that's a whole other story. I'd ask to see a plan before she proceeds. Also, require any future tenants to maintain it in similar condition as when they move in.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 7:12PM
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As a gardener, if tenant is willing to accept a $250 annual allowance, I say go for it! $250 is not a ton of money. I'd make sure, even with an addendum to her lease, that she knows she has to buy her own tools and can take then with her when she leaves. I'd encourage the $$$ to go toward plants, compost etc. I'd also make sure that you structure it to reimburse her once she provides receipts. I've been a gardening tenant in the past and I loved having the opportunity to improve my surroundings.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 9:45PM
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I also think it could be a good idea and would be a small investment to keep a good tenant. It would add curb appeal to your property. If the next people don't care, then I don't think much is lost.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 2:25AM
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Thanks to all for your thoughts and comments. I've told my son (who manages the property) that we'll do it ($250 allowance), but she needs to provide receipts and it's to be used only for trees, shrubs, perennials and beauty bark. Anything else, she needs to clear first. And it has to stay put when she moves.
She's been a great tenant and I hope she stays there a long time....

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 9:30AM
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Easy. Each tennant is furnished with a new self-propelled
rear bagger mower. At the end of each lease are the addendums... you get the piture.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 8:09PM
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I know it seems like such a good idea to encourage a gardener but you don't want them doing something thats impossible to keep up in the future, or really expensive to fix up when she moves. Perimeter beds are a good place to start and so is the back yard.
I'm not feeling too good about tenants --just finished a talk with a tenant who repeatedly washes his detail rags and uniforms in the laundry room leaving the gasoline & solvent residue for the next person. I have looked in the machine and spotted his name on the uniform, and he claims that he can't remember doing it. Had to explain a 30 day notice for amnesia victims if this is a repeat problem.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 9:16PM
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