If you own Ellsworth single-family rental properties, you’ll need to decide whether or not to let your tenants have a grill. There are countless reasons not to allow grills on the property – they pose a serious risk of fire damage, injury and can leave greasy messes. Be that as it may, such hazards should be weighed against your tenant’s ability to enjoy living in your rental home. Restricting grills comes with its own set of potential problems, from feelings of frustration to a tenant who ignores rules and brings a grill onto the property anyway. If you’re sitting on the fence about whether or not you’re going to allow your tenants to have a grill, the best thing you can do is to review the pros and cons.
Barbecue grills are very common in most American households. 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. In addition to this, nearly 20,000 people end up in the emergency room every year because of grill-related injuries. Most of 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 present strong reasons to decline 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.
It’s also possible to turn down 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. A tenant’s failure to correctly clean their grill could mean 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 be certain whether a tenant will clean up after their grill, the best remedy would be to just not allow grills on the property at all. Another thing you should think of is your building’s exterior. If you have vinyl siding, for instance, a grill could melt or damage the home.
However, it will be a challenging task to supervise all tenants to check if any of them will bring a grill onto the property. There’s a big chance that a tenant will disobey restrictions regarding grills. 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. Even if it’s not exactly what your tenants prefer, an electric grill is a good compromise between you and your tenant. It’s a grill, but minus the risks of using gas and charcoal grills.
You need to establish good communication with your tenant, as well. This will help determine if 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 ensure this is articulated well to your tenant, as well as information on how to properly clean up after a grill. Should you decide to ban all grills, then make sure that’s stated in the lease, along with the consequences that follow violating those terms. There are tenants who will bring a grill onto the property, regardless of what the lease says. These tenants should be told what steps will be taken to deal with those who don’t follow the terms of the lease. More importantly, make sure you enforce the terms of the lease.
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