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Should You Let Your Tenants Have Grills?

Father and Son Grilling in Yard of Charleston Rental PropertyIf you own Charleston single-family rental properties, you’ll need to decide whether or not to let your tenants have a grill. There are multiple explanations why a landlord might not want 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. Don’t make any decision regarding whether or not to allow tenants to bring a grill without first looking at the pros and cons.

Barbecue grills are found in most 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. Consequently, 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 reinforce the grounds to restrict your 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 cleared. And all grills become dirty from use, with grease and burned bits of food coating interior surfaces. A tenant who doesn’t know how to correctly clean their grill could leave a greasy mess on the patio, deck, lawn, or other yard areas. Ashes can be blown around and stick to the house’s exterior surfaces, making a mess that will be hard to get rid of. Because there is no way to guarantee whether a tenant will clean up after a grill, best to just restrict the grill on the property from the onset. Another factor worth considering is your building’s exterior. If you have vinyl siding, for instance, a grill could melt or damage the home.

Simultaneously, it will be difficult to keep an eye out for tenants who will actually bring a grill onto the property. For sure there will be tenants who get grills even when they’re told not to. If you are willing to accept this, then you can propose something of a compromise with your tenants — they can have grills on the property, as long as they ensure safety measures. 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. Despite it not being the “real thing”, an electric grill gets the job done. It helps reach a compromise without the risks of using gas or charcoal grills.

Also, good communication with your tenant is also significantly important. 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 include information regarding how your tenant can properly clean up after a grill. If you really don’t want grills on the property, make sure you indicate that in your lease, and what consequences will follow should those terms be violated. There will be 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.

Would you like to know more about maintaining a successful Charleston rental property and good tenant relations at the same time? Contact us today or call us directly at 843-900-4061!

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