If your Monroeville rental property doesn’t already have a fence, you might be doubting if you should have one put in. Or perhaps your tenant has asked for permission to build a fence on the property. Either way, you’re faced with two genuine questions: does your rental need a fence, and if yes, who will install it? The first step to making an intelligent decision is to consider both the pros and cons of a fence for your rental property.
There are many advantages to fencing a rental property, but maybe the most significant factor you might consider doing so is that your ideal tenant requests a fence. Depending on the neighborhood and your renter demographic, a fenced rental property could vastly enhance its commercial viability.
In the single-family rental home market, you should know what type of tenant you want to rent to and create a property that will best appeal to that category. This goes double if you’re looking for ways to grow your tenant base. If you’re attempting to get another kind of tenant in the door, adding a fence to your rental property may work. Tenants with families or pets are often among the individuals who will be bound to select a rental home with a fence over one without.
Then again, installing a fence on a rental property in some areas doesn’t make much sense. Fences can be a pricey improvement project and not something to be ignored. Some tenants don’t even need a fence, while others consider them a hassle that limits their views.
In addition, in some neighborhoods, municipalities or owner’s associations have strict regulations about what type of fencing materials are allowed or even if you can have a fence on the property at all. If installing a fence doesn’t make sense for your area, tenant demographic, or budget, there doesn’t seem to be much reason to do so.
But what if your current tenant has asked for a fence? If you have received such a request, it’s important to take it seriously. This is specifically true if your tenant is a responsible long-term tenant, and you want to keep great relations with them. Building a fence for a tenant isn’t as strange as it may sound at first. Nevertheless, a fence is a property improvement that will most likely add to your property’s value. You can also often include a new fence as a tax write-off, which might be convenient.
If there are real challenges to accomplishing their request, whether because the HOA prohibits fences or there are strict zoning laws, it’s important to communicate those reasons clearly with your tenant. Simply saying to them “no” may make them feel hurt or resentful and might even provoke them to try and build a fence themselves – probably without your permission and without obtaining the necessary permits or approvals first.
Still, in some cases allowing a tenant to build a fence on the property may be an interesting offer. This is especially true if you know your tenant can do the job effectively and if they offer to pay for the materials. If both of these things are true, you may feel confident in allowing a tenant to proceed with the project.
On the other hand, there are a few possible drawbacks to trusting your tenant with such a major property improvement. If your tenant builds a fence, you will usually have no idea what materials they pick to use and the construction quality. If your tenant installs a fence using cheap or flimsy materials or doesn’t do a good job, your property could quickly become a neighborhood headache. A horrible or poorly built fence may have a substantial adverse effect on not only your property’s curb appeal but your property values as well.
Because fences often sit on property lines, there is also the possibility that your tenant will damage surrounding properties, injure themselves, or cause issues with the neighbors. People living nearby may not want a fence so close to their property and may object to having one built.
There are also buried gas lines, water lines, and other utilities to avoid. If your tenant mistakenly breaks a gas or water line, you could end up not only with disgruntled neighbors but an expensive repair bill from the city as well. The same goes if your tenant somehow ends up hurting him or herself or others. Not only might you be responsible for paying hospital bills, but you might also wind up the target of an expensive lawsuit as well.
Do you have questions about which upgrades and improvements are right for your rental property? Give Real Property Management Three Rivers a call at 724-804-8254! We can help you maximize your rental property’s curb appeal without blowing your budget.
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.