You might be considering allowing your tenants to have a grill if you own Brookline single-family rental properties. 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, these dangers should be weighed against the tenant’s opportunity to enjoy living in the rental property. Tenants who disregard your wishes and bring a grill onto the property despite your ban on them are just two of the potential issues that can arise when grills are prohibited. It’s crucial to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before deciding whether to permit grills for your tenants.
Barbeque grills and smokers are very popular in American culture. Seven out of ten adults in the United States own one. But according to the National Fire Protection Association, grills cause 10,600 home fires annually on average. Additionally, nearly 20,000 people visit the emergency room annually due to grill-related injuries. The vast majority of these fires and injuries are caused by gas or propane grills, the most common type of grill available. Clearly, it makes sense to forbid grills on your property if there is even a remote possibility of injury or fire.
The potential mess that grills may leave behind is another drawback to allowing them. Ash is produced by charcoal grills, and all grills can leave greasy messes on a patio or deck. If your tenant doesn’t know how to clean their grill properly with the right cleaners or dispose of their ashes properly, they risk damaging the property. 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. Moreover, the high temperature from a grill can melt vinyl siding, leave scorch marks on wooden decks and railings, and cause other damage. You might believe that telling your tenant they can’t have a grill on the property is the best course of action because it can be difficult to predict whether they will use it responsibly and clean up after themselves.
Nevertheless, there are benefits to allowing your tenants to have a grill. Probably the greatest advantage of allowing grills is that it will make your tenants happy and facilitate good tenant relations. Given the widespread popularity of grills, allowing your tenant to have one may encourage them to remain in your rental property for a longer period of time.
It may also help to prevent lease violations when Brookline property managers permit their tenants to have a grill. It’s unfortunate, but even if you tell your tenant they can’t have a grill, there’s a good chance they’ll still bring one onto the property and try to hide it. Instead, you might think about letting your tenant have a grill as long as you take a few sensible safety measures. For instance, compared to other grill types, electric grills are safer and less likely to start structural fires. This is because aren’t any open flames on electric grills. Allowing your tenant to have an electric grill may not be their first choice, but it may help you keep a good relationship with them while preventing the more serious risks posed by gas or charcoal grills. Consider giving them advice on how to maintain and clean their grill as well. You may find that a compromise regarding grills is ultimately beneficial for you and your tenant, especially if it increases the likelihood that they will adhere to the terms of their lease.
In the end, the decision to permit tenants to have a grill depends on your rental property, personal preferences, and circumstances. What’s crucial, however, is that you build a strong relationship with your tenant, include direct language in your lease, and respond to their requests in a timely and professional manner, regardless of the course you ultimately take.
Originally published: March 12, 2021
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