Perhaps one of the most sought-after features when choosing a Cranberry Township rental house is a sturdy fence. Many renters look for it and will factor it in prior to making a final decision. Most notably in the single-family rental home market, a fenced yard is attractive for long-term renters. Nevertheless, there are times when a fence gets damaged, and then the question as to who will shoulder the expenses for the repairs arises. The answer to that question depends on two things: the condition of the fence upon move in and how the fence was damaged.
If the fence surrounding the property is in pristine condition but damaged by your tenant or their guests, your tenant is usually in charge of the upkeeps. But, if weather or another outside source damages the property’s fence or if the fence was neglected or falling down upon move in, the responsibility for repairs typically belongs to the property owner. The best way to determine responsibility for fence repairs is to include specific, clear language in your lease agreements related to property damage.
What is the Current Condition of the Fence?
It matters not the location of the rental property, because there are state and local laws that obligate every property owner to make sure that their rental homes are up to code and most importantly, habitable. The focus of these regulations is often on the house itself, which must have sufficient weatherproofing and feature safe and functioning heat, electric, and plumbing systems.
But ensuring a house is fit for compliance with the code would also include the yard and any exterior structures. That’s why, and irrespective of whether they are for decorative purposes or significant to the building, fences are treated as part of the property and must be kept in good repair. A broken-down fence is a safety hazard and creates unwelcome liabilities for a landlord.
What is the State of Wear and Tear?
Fences need regular maintenance and repair, the same as any other feature of a rental home. If the fence around your rental home is looking worn or hasn’t been repaired for a long time, it is the responsibility of the property owner to return the fence to good condition. This is true even if a fence becomes further damaged due to tenant misuse.
Broken or collapsed sections of fencing is a serious safety hazard for which the property owner is responsible. This includes damage caused by severe weather or vandalism. These situations should be covered by a landlord’s insurance policy, which means that it is the landlord’s responsibility to make the necessary repairs.
Who Caused the Damage?
If the fence around your rental home is in good repair but your renter or one of their guests damages it, the tenant is usually responsible for repairs. Such damage must go beyond normal wear and tear, such as hitting the fence with their car or if tenants or guests accidentally break slats or l panels.
Majority of the leases has a specific clause that comprises of what happens in case a renter causes damage to the property or lets others do so, that renter is then held responsible for paying for repairs. If your tenant does not want to do so, most landlord/tenant laws permit the landlord to take the amount from the security deposit.
Making sure that a thorough and detailed move-in/move-out checklist is fulfilled between every tenant is one way of documenting the condition of a rental home’s fence. This protects property owners from claims of existing repairs, as well as the tenant from accusations of negligence. When you hire Real Property Management Three Rivers, you can be assured that such steps have been taken and that every feature of your Cranberry Township rental home is being supervised regularly. If you are interested in learning more contact us online or by phone at 724-804-8254.
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.