If you own Stockbridge single-family rental properties, you’ll need to decide whether or not to let your tenants have a grill. There are countless reasons not to allow grills on the property – they pose a serious risk of fire damage, injury and can leave greasy messes. However, such hazards should be weighed against your tenant’s ability to enjoy living in your rental home. When you set a policy against grills, you’re looking to avoid potential problems. Quite possibly you might encounter a tenant who gets frustrated and goes ahead and brings a grill onto the property anyway. Before deciding whether to allow tenants to have a grill or not, it’s always best to look at 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. These fires and injuries are generally caused by gas or propane grills, which are also the most popular type of grill on the market.
These statistics are reason enough to prohibit 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.
You can opt to dismiss a tenant’s request to have a grill because of the mess they make. Charcoal grills leave behind ashes that must be properly scrubbed and cleaned. And all grills become dirty from use, with grease and burned bits of food coating interior surfaces. If tenants don’t know how to correctly clean their grill, they could leave 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 certainty as to whether or not your tenant will clean up after themselves once their grill is finished, the best preventive measure would be to just ban grills on property. Another thing you can consider is your building’s exterior. If you have vinyl siding, for instance, a grill could melt or damage the home.
Concurrently, it will be tricky to keep watch over tenants who might bring their own grill onto the property anyway. It shouldn’t be surprising to find tenants who will get grills anyway, even if 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. 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.
Good communication with your tenant is of utmost importance, too. 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 ensure this is articulated well to your tenant, as well as information on how to properly clean up after a grill. Should you decide to ban all grills, then make sure that’s stated in the lease, along with the consequences that follow violating those terms. There are tenants who will bring a grill onto the property, regardless of what the lease says. If they’re caught, however, your lease should state what steps will be taken to deal with the offense. Afterward, you can make sure that you enforce the terms of the lease.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.