Do Fireplaces and Rental Properties Mix?

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on March 14, 2012 under Landlord Tips, Lease and Rental Agreements | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenant pre-screening, tenant credit check, tenant background checkAhhhh, a cozy, cracking fire on a cool evening. What could be better? If you’re an owner of a rental property with a fireplace, you could probably write a long list to answer that question.

But most people enjoy sitting by a fire, so a fireplace can add great value to a rental property. Newer homes and apartments often have gas fireplaces—if they have one at all. Wood burning fireplaces are common in older homes and apartment buildings. And landlords are split on whether or not to allow tenants to use them.

Here are some factors to consider when you own rental properties with wood burning fireplaces.

  • Fireplaces can be dangerous: a fireplace can also cause serious fire and smoke damage if not used properly.
  • Too many people do not know how to use them properly. Some use gasoline to start fires. Others store wood too close to the fire, or don’t use doors or screens to keep embers from igniting nearby carpets or curtains. And news reports often showcase the tragic results of improper disposal of ashes.
  • Fireplaces require regular maintenance: yearly inspections and professional cleanings are essential to keep fireplaces safe to operate.
  • They waste heat: much of the heat generated by a fireplace goes right up the chimney—and they draw warm air from the rest of the room, too.
  • Liability issues: if your tenants do not have renter’s insurance, you may be liable for any damage that occurs as a result of their negligence or an improperly operating fireplace.
  • They attract pests: Chimneys are a great place for birds and squirrels to nest.

If you decide to allow tenants to use fireplaces or woodstoves in your rental property, be sure to include a provision in the lease and have the tenant sign, acknowledging they understand and agree to your terms. Check with your insurance provider about how it will affect your premium, coverage and liability.

Protect your rental property and assets through tenant background checks. Proper tenant screening will ensure you are leasing to the best possible tenants.

Add A Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.