If your Bannock County rental property doesn’t already have a fence, you might be wondering if you should have one put in. Or possibly your tenant has asked for permission to build a fence on the property. Either way, you’re faced with two significant questions: does your rental need a fence, and if yes, who will install it? The first step to making a smart decision is to analyze 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 reason you might consider doing so is that your ideal tenant likes a fence. Depending on the neighborhood and your renter demographic, a fenced rental property could dramatically improve its marketability.
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 class. This will multiply if you’re looking for ways to develop your tenant base. If you’re working to find a unique type of tenant, adding a fence to your rental property might be the answer. Tenants with families or pets are usually the ones who will be more eager to prioritize a rental home with a fence over one without.
In other cases, installing a fence on a rental property in some areas doesn’t make any sense. Fences can be a pricey improvement project; that is why it is important to take it seriously. Some tenants do not want a fence, while others consider them a disturbance that blocks their views.
Also, 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? Once you get such a request, it’s important to take it seriously. This is especially true if your tenant is a responsible long-term tenant, and you want to retain good relations with them. Building a fence for a tenant isn’t as surprising as it may sound at first. Ultimately, 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 might be convenient.
If there are significant issues in meeting 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 telling them no may make them feel hurt or resentful and might even trigger them to find a way 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 great offer. This is especially true if you know your tenant can do the job exactly and if they offer to pay for the materials. If both of these things are valid, you may feel confident in allowing a tenant to move ahead with the project.
In different circumstances, there are a few possible disadvantages to trusting your tenant with such a significant property improvement. If your tenant builds a fence, you will never know what materials they choose 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 eyesore. A horrible or poorly built fence may have a huge devastating 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 bordering properties, injure themselves, or cause an argument with the neighbors. People living nearby may not want a fence so close to their property and may oppose to having one built.
There are also buried gas lines, water lines, and other utilities to avoid. If your tenant accidentally breaks a gas or water line, you could end up not only with irritated 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 Pocatello a call at 208-234-1000! 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.