Although most fences are made for protecting what’s on the inside, it is still considered a good draw for many renters when selecting an Eden rental house. Specifically, in the single-family rental home market, a fenced yard is an essential attraction for long-term renters. But when a fence gets damaged, who pays for the repairs? 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 around the property is in good repair but damaged by your tenant or their guests, your tenant is generally responsible for repairs. However, if the property’s fence is damaged by weather or another outside source 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?
There are state and local laws that require all property owners – regardless of what location, to keep their rental homes up to code and 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. Hence, and despite whether they are aesthetic reasons or relevant to the structure, fences are considered 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 periodic maintenance and servicing, 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 included by a landlord’s insurance policy, which means that it is the landlord’s responsibility to make the needed 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.
Most leases state that in the event a renter causes damage to the property or allows others to do so, that renter is then responsible for paying for repairs. If your tenant refuses to do so, most landlord/tenant laws will enable the landlord to deduct the cost from the security deposit.
Guaranteeing that a comprehensive and accurate move-in/move-out checklist is filled out 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 choose Real Property Management Magic Valley, you can be sure that such steps have been exerted and that every aspect of your Eden rental home is being monitored routinely. If you are interested in learning more contact us online or by phone at 208-734-4001.
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