Tenant is Anti-Glyphosate (Round Up) - Realistic Request?

41 Replies

I recently contracted a landscaping company to do a complete overhaul at my rental. Today, the tenant contacts me unhappy that they were using Round-Up as it contains glyphosate. Trying to reassure her, I sent her links to the EPA site (https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/glyphosate) which states that it isn't harmful when used correctly. She does not believe it and is adamant that they stop and switch to a more natural solution.  

Has anyone else had this come up with tenants? 

I'm not sure it is a good idea to set the precedent that you are going to react to there every whim.  The real question in are they good tenants?  Also, have you asked the landscaping company how difficult it would be to accommodate that request?

They moved in a month ago and have been great so far. The yard was a wreck and they were patient as I found a landscaper. The landscaping company has now said they don't have any other option. The tenant has sent me world health articles about the dangers of glyphosate and does not agree with the EPA website. She seems to be very passionate about it so I want to accommodate as I can, however, I'm mainly wondering if this is a common request from tenants. Personally, I filled the yard with Round-Up last year before ultimately surrendering to the weeds that just seemed to keep thriving until now when I hired professionals to handle it. 

@Alexandra Hughes I would be unhappy with round-up being used around my kids and pets, for what its worth....

Just dont use round up no big deal, and just tell her, cool I get it, we wont use round up, but you will have to deal with the weeds. You are constrained by what is possible.

Hi @Alexandra Hughes ,

This is an interesting (and unique) post!  

The reality is that she's not going to win any war against Monsanto, and unless she grows her own food, everything she eats has been exposed to Round Up.  As the landlord, you can decide if you are going to make your tenant's views on these things important to you, or if you are more concerned about the economics of your business.  In this case, I don't think you can have both.  But you can buy her a pint of $8 organic strawberries as a peace offering :)

Good luck with this situation, and please follow up with how you handled this one.  I'm definitely curious on how this turns out!

@Alexandra Hughes

I have that with neighbors. I use a generic/knock-off 40% glyphosate concentrate and dilute it down to about 4%. Works like a charm. But I don't tell the neighbors what I'm spraying anymore. The ones that believe what they want to believe will never believe differently. The worst are the ones who insist it's going to hurt their pets.

Call the landscape company up and ask if they'll run a 95% white vinegar and 5% dish soap solution mix through a separate 2-gallon sprayer if you buy it for them. You have to use much more concentrated acetic acid to get the job done and of course the yard will stink of vinegar, but it makes the average organic fanatic happy at a slightly elevated cost for faster equipment degradation.

Originally posted by @Alexandra Hughes :

They moved in a month ago and have been great so far....

They better have lived in that unit, rent on time, and  drama free for at least a year before I start catering to them on things like this. It isn't a realistic request.

Tell her she is welcome to take over yard maintenance. I may even give a credit of up to 75 percent of what I am spending on the professional company a month. She is welcome to do it herself or hire a company that uses products sure approves of. I wouldn't stress it much, a simple addenda could make you both happy. Be sure to add in that she is responsible for any notices from the town about unkept lawns.

Never allow a tenant to dictate what you do with your property.  I always tell them they're free to move at any time if they don't like something.

@Alexandra Hughes Monsanto is losing huge amounts of money in lawsuits from cancer caused by their weed killers. I'd be pissed too. Pay a kid off craigslist to get on their hands and knees and pull those weeds up by the root. Then have your landscaper take over from there.


World Health Organization surveyed the research on Roundup cancer links and concluded the blockbuster herbicide is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Research shows that Monsanto has known that Roundup weed killer is carcinogenic for several decades, but buried the risks as sales of Roundup continued to skyrocket in the United States and abroad.

I like Russell's solution.. turn it over to her and make it her problem to deal with it.

@Alexandra Hughes

Monsanto is losing cancer lawsuits left and right. BIG ones. It’s only a matter of time before we all wake up and realize how harmful those chemicals are. And newsflash...the EPA and FDA are corrupt.

I am the last person to give in to tenant “demands” but this company and product are legitimate health concerns. I would never want to risk an unhealthy environment for my tenants.

Well now that everyone knows Roundup causes cancer and it's all over the news, I don't blame her: https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/monsanto-slam...

I would insist the landscaper not use Roundup, it sounds like this tenant would prefer a few weeds to cancer. I have a good landscaping recommendation in Denver if you need one. 

@Alexandra Hughes

This is a very political issue right now. There is a lot of science out there showing how bad that particular chemical is. And some not. It is getting banned in many countries. It seems to be following the same trajectory as smoking where there was a complete coverup with blanket denials and government bribes. But it’s difficult to find reputable anything on either side. I heavily empathize with her concerns but it is something that people need to maintain their logic about.


I've been a landscape maintenance contractor for 20 years now. We use generic roundup products with burning agents daily....like 100+ gallons a week. There is plenty of more dangerous chemicals out there, the media and public just chose the largest company to fixate on for the moment. 

If the client has an issue we will spray Vinegar. Be expected that it does not act the same as roundup. It will make the soil so acidic nothing will grow in it for quite some time. And it spreads while in the soil to the surrounding root zone. So do not spray close to drip zone of plants you want to keep. Where as roundup you can spray right up against something you want to keep, vinegar is a different animal. 

Had a neighbor at one of my rentals go ballistic when she thought I was spraying roundup . I told her the product was called prosecutor , that made her happy . ( its the same thing)

@Alexandra Hughes I’d call this an unrealistic request. You cannot control how the landscaping company does its job. No laws are being broken here.

People get cancer from the sun and still rub chemicals all over their body to prevent it. This is purely a matter of conforming to someone’s belief.

If she's this informed why not put it back on her to provide an alternative solution? I'd be fine doing this for any of my teants, doesn't have to cost me extra or require extra work on my end...and you get some good will from teants.

folks that are so up in arms about this product, are you guys swimming in it or what? hell, even Starbucks had to put a cancer sticker on their coffee cups in CA...

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

Had a neighbor at one of my rentals go ballistic when she thought I was spraying roundup . I told her the product was called prosecutor , that made her happy . ( its the same thing)

Great! I think I'll start telling them it's Yard Kitten or Bambi Grow. Compare-N-Save doesn't quite cut the mustard.

"The landscaping company has now said they don't have any other option."


You need a different landscape company, 'cuz that's a lie. Forget whether Roundup is safe or dangerous, or bending to every whim (and I agree you shouldn't cater to every whim), there are alternatives, and while one may believe or disbelieve the EPA, there are admittedly safer options. 

I just don't like tradesmen lying to me. There are other options.

@Lee Haenschen Hey Lee! Great to hear from a fellow North Carolinian I relocated to Denver 3 years ago but I was born and raised in NC!).

I like your perspective and solution. The company I hired unfortunately did not have other solutions, however, there was also a little bit of a language barrier at times. We did ultimately find a compromise between myself, the tenant, and landscaping company.

Rather than using the weed killer everywhere, we avoided using it within roughly 10 feet of the house. She was mostly worried because she has a vegetable garden in the side yard and didn’t want it to impact her garden.

When I posted this I was in the process of trying to find a solution as the landscapers were on site so I needed to make a quick decision, which thankfully was a fairly easy compromise in this case. I was mostly posting this since I’m a new landlord and was curious how often this came up with tenants.

I appreciate the insight!

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