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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 built. Or it could be your tenant has asked for permission to build a fence on the property. Either way, you’re faced with two considerable questions: does your rental need a fence, and if yes, who will install it? The first step to making a wise decision is to look at 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 wants a fence. Depending on the neighborhood and your renter demographic, a fenced rental property could greatly boost its marketability.

In the single-family rental home market, you need to know what type of tenant you want to rent to and create a property that will best appeal to that group. This will improve if you’re looking for ways to extend your tenant base. If you’re planning to get a new type of tenant in the door, adding a fence to your rental property might help. Tenants with families or pets are typically among those who are most likely to enjoy a rental home with a fence over one without.

However, attaching a fence to a rental property in some areas doesn’t make much sense. Fences can be a significant improvement project, and it is important to pay attention to that. Some tenants do not demand a fence, while others consider them as an inconvenience 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 building a fence doesn’t make sense for your area, tenant demographic, or budget, there doesn’t seem to be much worry about it.

But what if your current tenant has asked for a fence? Once you have received such 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 promote healthy relations with them. Building a fence for a tenant isn’t as unusual as it may sound at first. In spite of everything, 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 may come in handy.

If there are real obstacles in the process of 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 saying to them “no” may make them feel hurt or resentful and might even provoke them to try and build a fence themselves – possibly without your permission and without obtaining the necessary permits or approvals first.

Yet, sometimes allowing a tenant to build a fence on the property may be a good offer. This is especially true if you know your tenant can do the job perfectly 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 go forward with the project.

However, there are a few possible negative aspects to trusting your tenant with such an important property improvement. If your tenant builds a fence, you will not be able to control what materials they want 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 mess. An unpleasant or poorly built fence may have a major negative 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 a disturbance 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 inadvertently breaks a gas or water line, you could end up not only with mad 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 victim 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 Magic Valley a call at 208-734-4001! We can help you maximize your rental property’s curb appeal without blowing your budget.

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