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Should You Let Your Tenants Have Grills?

Father and Son Grilling in Yard of Cypress Rental PropertyIf you own Cypress single-family rental properties, you’ll need to decide whether or not to let your tenants have a grill. There are reasonable grounds not to allow grills on the property – they pose a serious risk of fire damage, injury and can leave greasy messes. Regardless, such hazards should be weighed against your tenant’s ability to enjoy living in your rental home. Forbidding grills comes with its own set of potential problems, from feelings of frustration to a tenant who disregards property policies 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 quite popular among Americans. 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. 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 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.

There’s also the choice to reject 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’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 and cleaned thoroughly because they can stick to the house’s exterior surfaces, creating a mess that will be problematic to remove. 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. Don’t be surprised to find tenants who secretly bring their own grills onto the property despite being 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. 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.

Another significant part of the tenant relationship is establishing good communication. 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. 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. You can expect that some tenants will bring a grill onto the property, even if the lease says no. They should be made aware of what steps will be taken towards those who don’t honor the lease. All that’s left to do is to enforce the terms of the lease.

Would you like to know more about maintaining a successful Cypress rental property and good tenant relations at the same time? Contact us today or call us directly at 713-539-5765!

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