Many renters feel that a quality fence is essential when selecting a Pocatello rental house. Specifically, in the single-family rental home market, a fenced yard is one of the most important draws for long-term renters. However, damages can’t be avoided, and when it happens to a fence, who then shoulders the expenses? 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 in your property gets destroyed by your tenant or their guests, and it was previously in pristine condition, then your tenant is understood to be responsible for the 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?
The location of the rental property is not a factor as there are state and local laws that require property owners to make sure that their rental homes are habitable and up to code. 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. Because of this, and notwithstanding the reasons such as if they are for decoration purposes or is crucial 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 demand routine maintenance and repair, the same as any other piece 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 accurate even if a fence becomes extra damaged due to tenant ill-usage.
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 circumstances ought to be incorporated by a landlord’s insurance policy, which means that it is the landlord’s responsibility to make the important 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 typically accountable 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.
Almost all leases say 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.
Ensuring that a complete and detailed 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 hire Real Property Management Pocatello, you can be confident that such steps have been taken and that every aspect of your Pocatello rental home is being monitored regularly. If you are interested in learning more contact us online or by phone at 208-234-1000.
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.