If you own Aurora 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. Not allowing grills comes with its own set of potential problems, from feelings of frustration to a tenant who dismisses the landlord’s rules 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 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. What is more, nearly 20,000 people end up in the emergency room every year because of grill-related injuries. The larger part 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.
You can also decline a tenant’s request to have a grill because of the mess they make. Charcoal grills leave behind ashes that must be properly washed out. And all grills become dirty from use, with grease and burned bits of food coating interior surfaces. Should the tenant be unable to properly clean the grill, this could lead to leaving 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 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. Don’t be surprised to find tenants who secretly bring their own grills onto the property despite being told not to. If this is something you can simply accept, then you should have no problem reaching a compromise with your tenants. They get a grill, but on the premise that the property is kept 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 though an electric grill might not exactly be what your tenant wants, it’s a good path towards a compromise. It allows tenants to have grills without the risks of using gas or charcoal grills.
A key feature of any relationship is good communication — the same is true with you and your tenant. This can help you assess if your tenant can be trusted with a grill on the property or not. If you decide to allow any grill, you should put clear language in your lease documents and information on how to correctly clean up after your tenant is done with the grill. If you just don’t want grills on your property at all, simply state that in your lease, along with the consequences of disobeying 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. After that, you simply have to enforce the terms of the lease.
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