Nothing makes the winter months cozy quite like the smell, crackle, and pop of a warm blaze in a fireplace in the living room or a firepit on the patio. Offering any feature that involves fire in your rental unit, however, can be risky. In addition to a potential house fire, think burns and breathing hazards.
Eliminate the liability
While sites like Fool.com https://www.fool.com/millionacres/real-estate-market/home-renovations/apartment-fireplace-considerations-for-landlords/ don’t necessarily advise against this attractive amentity, Moon Ridge Property Management advises eliminating the risk and liability.
Quite simply: DON’T OFFER IT.
Consider how much adding this feature is going to increase your homeowners/renters insurance. With the potential risk of disaster in your property, you can anticipate higher premiums, which will ultimately decrease your revenue from your rental property.
If you do decide to go with a real fireplace, it’s going to require some work. And as nice as it is, it’s still dangerous. To keep it from being as much of an issue, you should do the following things.
With or without a fireplace, you should always make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are present on the property and working.
When working with a property management company such as Moon Ridge, we consider part of our seasonal maintenance and perform the necessary checks throughout the year.
Ash & Mess
It’s simple science. Burn wood and you are left with charcoal and ash. Your property management company will not be responsible for cleaning it out, which leaves the responsibility to the owner.
Are you prepared for potential burns on hardwood or stains on carpet should debris fall in the transition outdoors?
Clauses in the Lease
Spell it out and make sure your tenant understands the fireplace is off-limits (for a fire). This is where a property management company can make sure you are protected.
Do encourage all the other comforts that come with it—like decorating!