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Should You Let Your Tenants Have Grills?

Father and Son Grilling in Yard of Poquoson Rental PropertyIf you own Poquoson single-family rental properties, you may be unsure whether to allow tenants to have a grill. You may not want to permit grills on the property for a bunch of reasons, including the fact that they pose a significant risk of fire damage and injury and leave greasy messes. However, you should balance these risks with your tenant’s ability to enjoy living in your rental property. A tenant who disregards your requests out of frustration and brings a grill onto the property anyway can be a problem if you forbid grills. Before deciding whether to allow your tenants to have a grill, it is important to consider both the benefits and drawbacks.

In American culture, barbecue grills and smokers are extremely common. In the U.S., seven out of every ten adults own one. But according to the National Fire Protection Association, grills cause 10,600 home fires annually on average. In addition, injuries caused by grills send nearly 20,000 people to the hospital’s emergency room annually. The most common type of grill on the market, gas or propane grills are to blame for the majority of these fires and injuries. Clearly, it makes sense to forbid grills on your property if there is even a remote possibility of injury or fire.

Grills may leave a mess behind, which is another drawback to allowing them. Charcoal grills create ashes, and all grills can leave greasy messes on a deck or patio. If your tenant does not know how to thoroughly dispose of ashes or clean their grill with the appropriate cleaners, they may cause property damage. Grease is difficult to remove from many surfaces, and ashes exposed to the elements can coat the exterior surfaces of the house. Both messes are hard to tidy up. Additionally, the heat from a grill can cause damage such as melting vinyl siding, scorch marks on wooden decks or railings, and other things. The best course of action may seem to be to inform your tenant that they are not permitted to have a grill on the property because it can be difficult to predict whether they will use it responsibly and clean up after themselves.

Enabling your tenants to have a grill has some benefits, though. The main advantage of allowing grills is that it will increase tenant satisfaction and foster positive tenant relations. Tenants want to enjoy living in their rental, and given the widespread popularity of grills, allowing them to have one may encourage them to remain in your rental property for a longer period of time.

When Poquoson property managers permit their tenants to have a grill, it may also prevent lease violations. It’s unfortunate, but there’s a good chance that your tenant will still bring a grill onto the property and attempt to hide it even if you tell them they can’t. Instead, you might think about letting your tenant have a grill as long as you take a few sensible safety measures. Electric grills, for instance, are safer and less likely to cause structure fires than other grill types. This is due in part to the fact that there are no open flames on electric grills. Even though it might not be their first choice, allowing your tenant to use an electric grill could help you keep a positive relationship with them while avoiding the more serious risks that come with using a gas or charcoal grill. You may also consider including instructions for the grill’s maintenance and cleaning. In the end, you might discover that reaching a reasonable agreement on grills is better for you and your tenant in the long run, particularly if it means they’ll be more likely to abide by the terms of their lease.

Ultimately, allowing tenants to have a grill depends on your rental property, priorities, and situations. Regardless of your decision, it is essential to establish good communication with your tenant, include clear language in the lease, and respond to your tenant’s requests promptly and professionally.

Would you like to know more about maintaining a successful Poquoson rental property and good tenant relations at the same time? Contact us online today or call us directly at 757-395-4274!


Originally published: March 12, 2021

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