As the weather gets nicer, tenants will want to spend more time outside. As a property manager you want to make sure tenants are enjoying themselves while following the rules and maintaining the safety for everyone in the building. Be sure to include any rules and regulations specific to patios and decks in your lease agreement. Including these rules will avoid any misunderstanding about what’s allowed and what is against the rules.
Some rules to consider in your lease agreement include:
It’s a good idea to specify patio furniture in good condition is the only allowable type of furniture to be put on tenant’s patios. Makeshift furniture can be an eye sore and might even be dangerous.
While you can’t list every allowable décor, there should be a general guideline. Some décor that you should prohibit are candles, tiki torches, or any heat or fire source. Using the patio as storage should also be forbidden. For example, bikes, laundry lines, banners, children toys and more.
Safety should be your main concern when establishing the rules. Any type of gas or charcoal grill should be prohibited for safety reasons. Placing a grill too close to a home presents a clear fire hazard. In the lease agreement it should state to place electric grills at least 15 feet from any walls.
Allowing tenants to grow plants on the patio is a great way to add nature to a bare space, but gardening should come with restrictions. Guidelines to consider include the size of the pots, plants should not undermine appearance of rental, and protectors should be used under all pots to prevent damage to the patio.
You want your tenants to feel at home, however the protection of your property and tenant safety should be the primary factor when establishing these restrictions. Some may find having rules and regulations cumbersome but if you are up front and outline any restrictions in your lease you will avoid any confusion. Be clear that rules are for the safety of all and necessary to keep the residence looking good for all to enjoy. Remember to also include the consequences of violating any of these restrictions!