If you’re a landlord, you probably struggle with balancing how much time, energy and money to put into your rental property. You want your property to be a nice place to live, but at the same time, you know that tenants who seem normal at first might wind up being raving lunatics who damage your property.
At some point, you may consider adding a fence, either at a tenant’s request or because you think it will increase the value of your property. This week, we’ll examine the ins and outs of adding a fence to your rental property.
The single-family rental market is going strong. If you provide a good property and find the right family – one or two adults (with one or two solid jobs) plus one or more children – you may find reliable, long-lasting tenants. Since parents are always worrying about their kids’ safety, a fence is a huge draw to these families. Many will only rent a house with a decent fence.
Why are families so important that you’d risk kids messing up your rental house? Stable families improve the quality of a community, which helps your property values. Parents care about raising happy, healthy children, so they’ll care about the neighborhood.
Pets are considered family members in many homes. Since not everybody rents to pet owners, landlords who do are in high demand. Welcoming pets is a good way to attract faithful renters – just be sure to protect yourself with a sizable pet deposit.
Pet owners love good fences. A fenced yard is a huge help when Fido needs to step out for his late night ablutions. Just make it clear that Fido can’t spend his days in the backyard, barking at cars while his owner is at work.
As a landlord, you’ll face all the same material questions as you would for the home you live in. How much maintenance are you willing to do? What do you want to spend? Is the rental governed by HOA rules?
Since you’re not living there, you might be a teensy bit tempted to cut corners and go with the cheapest fence. But stop to consider what kind of applicant you want to attract. Choose your fence accordingly.
Sometimes a tenant will request that the landlord build a fence. This can be a sticky situation. As the landlord, you’re not obligated to pay for fencing the yard because a tenant requests it. Occasionally a landlord and renter will split the cost, or the renter might even pay for the whole thing. Don’t let fencing decisions fall into the hands of tenants. Renters will be tempted to pick the cheapest fence and use unlicensed labor since they are, after all, only renting.
Instead, consider whether you want a fence on your rental property. Will it increase your property value? Allow you to increase the rent? If the answer is no, your tenants or prospective tenants need to rent a place with an already fenced yard.
Help for your rental
Do you need some help weighing your options? Buzz’s talented designers can help assess your land and discuss your needs so you can decide on your best future fence. Give us a call. Designing and building fences is what we love to do.