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Does Your Eden Rental Property Need a Fence?

Eden Professional Installing a FenceIf your Eden rental property doesn’t already have a fence, you might be thinking if you should have one put in. Or maybe your tenant has asked for permission to build a fence on the property. Either way, you’re faced with two critical questions: does your rental need a fence, and if yes, who will install it? The first step to making a correct decision is to understand 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 important factor you might consider doing so is that your ideal tenant wishes for a fence. Depending on the neighborhood and your renter demographic, a fenced rental property could greatly increase its rentability.

In the single-family rental home market, you have to know what type of tenant you want to rent to and create a property that will best appeal to that group. This increases if you’re looking for ways to cultivate your tenant base. If you’re trying to get a new kind of tenant in the door, adding a fence to your rental property might be the answer. Tenants with families or pets are usually one of those who will be more likely to select a rental home with a fence over one without.

However, installing a fence on a rental property in some areas doesn’t make any sense. Fences can be an extravagant improvement project and not something to be carelessly considered. Some tenants do not prefer a fence, while others consider them an impediment that blocks their views.

Still, 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 establishing 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 they send a request, it’s important to take it seriously. This is particularly true if your tenant is a responsible long-term tenant, and you want to establish good relations with them. Building a fence for a tenant isn’t as uncommon as it may sound at first. After all, a fence is a property improvement that will most likely add to your property’s value. You can also often use a new fence as a tax write-off, which could be very helpful.

If there are major challenges to providing 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 informing them “no” may make them feel hurt or resentful and might even encourage them to try and build a fence themselves – probably without your permission and without obtaining the necessary permits or approvals first.

However, sometimes allowing a tenant to build a fence on the property may be a wonderful offer. This is especially true if you know your tenant can do the job appropriately and if they offer to pay for the materials. If both of these things are relevant, you may feel confident in allowing a tenant to keep going with the project.

However, there are a few possible disadvantages to trusting your tenant with such a significant property improvement. If your tenant builds a fence, you won’t have any power over what materials they choose to utilize 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 concern. An ugly or poorly built fence may have a significantly undesirable 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 nearby properties, injure themselves, or cause problems with the neighbors. People living nearby may not want a fence so close to their property and may complain about having one built.

There are also buried gas lines, water lines, and other utilities to avoid. If your tenant unintentionally breaks a gas or water line, you could end up not only with furious 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 unreasonable lawsuit as well.

Do you have questions about which upgrades and improvements are right for your rental property? Give Real Property Management Northern Utah a call at 801-546-1770! We can help you maximize your rental property’s curb appeal without blowing your budget.

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