Skip to Content

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Part 2: Are Grand Rapids Residents Making Unauthorized Changes to the Exterior of Your Rental Property?

Young Grand Rapids Resident Measuring the Trellis on an Outdoor PatioOne of the first things residents typically do when they move into a new rental home is adding decorative features. Occasionally, this desire to personalize their rental home also extends to the exterior of the house. A lot of Grand Rapids property owners expect their residents to maintain the landscaping to a certain extent, and good residents are happy to do so. They want to take pride in their home as well, even if they don’t really own the place.

However, when your residents want to modify the exterior of the home, this is where things can quickly go wrong. As the owner, you might get requests from residents aiming to make changes like planting new trees or plants in the yard, making new flower beds, or transforming a corner of the yard into a vegetable garden. Other exterior modifications that residents might request include new exterior doors, light fixtures, or even changing the color of the house itself.

You may be tempted to allow them to make certain changes, particularly if they are going to pay for it themselves. Nevertheless, it’s important to consider that not all modifications are for the better. If the resident’s work is low quality, it can significantly impact your property values and your ability to rent the home down the road.

You can always request that they put the property back the way it was when they first came. However, if sod has been disturbed or plantings changed or moved, that might not be a possibility. Future residents may not enjoy the maintenance required by a vegetable garden as much as your current residents do, which can make potential renters pass your property over for one with less upkeep. If your rental home is situated within a homeowners’ association, there could be restrictions and further permissions that you have to follow before changes are permitted.

If residents proceed and perform changes to the exterior of your Grand Rapids rental property without your authorization, you should take the proper next steps. But, what should you do? You could charge them for any needed repairs and then get a professional to fix it or you could attempt to make them do it themselves. Nevertheless, your best option is to hire a property management company that can not only regularly monitor your properties for you but deal with unauthorized changes as they happen as well.

At Real Property Management Investment Solutions, we understand the stresses that come from unauthorized changes to your property. We are dedicated to protecting your investment, and that means ensuring your residents understand what is considered unauthorized changes and the consequences for making them. Our property maintenance programs are designed to maximize your investment’s potential while keeping costs low. For additional information about our property management services, please contact us online or give us a call at 616-419-8880 today!


We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.