If you own Alexander single-family rental properties, you’ll need to decide whether or not to let your tenants have a grill. There are a variety of causes why grills shouldn’t be allowed on the property – they pose a serious risk of fire damage, injury and can leave greasy messes. Such hazards, though, should be weighed against your tenant’s ability to enjoy living in your rental home. There are tenants that might get frustrated when they’re not allowed to have grills. This could lead to potential problems when the tenant disregards rules and brings a grill onto the property anyway. Are you thinking about whether or not you want to allow your tenants to have a grill? The best option is to look at all of the pros and cons involved.
Barbeque grills are a very common household commodity in American homes. As many as 7 out of every ten adults in the U.S. own one. But the National Fire Protection Association reports that grills are also responsible for an average of 8,900 home fires every year. Furthermore, nearly 20,000 people end up in the emergency room every year because of grill-related injuries. Typically, these fires and injuries are caused by gas or propane grills, which are also the most popular type of grill on the market.
These statistics provide landlords with enough reason to deny tenants from bringing a gas grill onto the property. As the owner, you have a responsibility to keep your property in a safe and livable condition. By allowing a grill on the property, you could put your property and tenants at risk from fire and fire-related injuries.
You could also refuse a tenant’s request to have a grill because of the mess they make. Charcoal grills leave behind ashes that must be properly taken care of. And all grills become dirty from use, with grease and burned bits of food coating interior surfaces. If your tenant is not able to clean their grill properly, that could lead to a greasy mess on the patio, deck, lawn, or other yard areas. Ashes need to be cleared before they are blown around by the wind. They can stick to the house’s exterior surfaces and cause a serious mess. Because it’s difficult to know for sure if your tenant will clean up after their grill, your best resort is to prohibit grills on the property. Another detail worth putting thought into is your building’s exterior. If you have vinyl siding, for instance, a grill could melt or damage the home. Also, it will prove to be difficult to keep watch over if tenants are going to bring their grills onto the property. It’s quite possible that a tenant will get a grill regardless of policies against it. If you’d rather accept that than fight it, there are ways to reach a compromise — for tenants to own grills while being able to keep the property safe. For example, electric grills are safer and far less likely to cause structural fires than other grill types. This is because electric grills do not have open flames. It may not be the first item on your tenant’s list, but an electric grill allows for a compromise. You can allow grills without worrying about the risks that come with gas or charcoal grills.
Another significant part of the tenant relationship is establishing good communication. This allows you to gauge whether or not your tenant can be trusted to have a grill on the property or not. If you decide to allow any grill, you should put clear language in your lease documents and any kind of instructions that detail how to properly clean a grill after use, so that your tenant can be made aware. If you don’t want to risk having grills on the property at all, you should articulate that in the lease, as well as the consequences of disregarding those terms. Other tenants will try to bring a grill onto the property, even when the lease says no. Clearly indicate in the lease that tenants who refuse to abide by the terms will be dealt with accordingly. Then, you can sit back and enforce the terms of the lease.
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