If you own Burlingame single-family rental properties, you’ll need to decide whether or not to let your tenants have a grill. There are a few justifications to not allow grills 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. 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. Prior to deciding whether or not to allow tenants to have a grill, review the pros and cons and weigh things out.
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. Furthermore, 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.
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 out. 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 dealt with because they can be blown around if left unchecked, sticking to the house’s exterior surfaces and leaving behind a mess. 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.
Meanwhile, it won’t be easy to oversee tenants and keep track of who is going to bring a grill onto the property. For sure there will be tenants who get grills even when they’re told not to. If you’d rather accept that fact than put up a fight, you can always find a way to reach a compromise. You can find ways to allow a tenant to have a grill while keeping your 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. Though it’s not exactly what your tenant wants, an electric grill is a good compromise between tenant and landlord. It allows for grills without the unnecessary risks of using gas or charcoal grills.
Also, good communication with your tenant is significantly important. This helps identify if your tenant is one who 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 having grills on the property isn’t really what you want, spell that out in the lease, along with whatever consequences await those who disregard the terms. There are tenants, however, who will still bring a grill onto the property, despite what the lease says. Clearly indicate in the lease that tenants who refuse to abide by the terms will be dealt with accordingly. All that’s left to do is to enforce the terms of the lease.
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