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Feeling Cooped Up? The Hazards of Keeping Pet Chickens

Brown Chicken in Fells Point Rental BackyardOne of the more popular trends raising questions for Fells Point rental property owners is whether or not to allow tenants to keep chickens. Keeping chickens has become a popular activity in recent years, even for urban neighborhoods. While the explanations for this popularity vary, several people do it with thoughts about producing their own food or keeping insect populations under control. Both of these things are obvious advantages of keeping chickens, but there are numerous threats you must be aware of, as well. In this fashion, you can more confidently decide what to say when your tenant asks to keep chickens on your rental property.

Zoning Issues

Not all municipalities are chicken-friendly. While some places allow residential neighborhoods to keep chickens in their yards, others do not. As a property owner, it’s important to know your local ordinances and communicate them clearly to your tenant. Otherwise, they may not feel it is important to follow local laws and keep banned animals on the property, thus exposing both of you to the risk of fines and legal troubles.

Property Damage

At a minimum, most chickens will need a clean and secure chicken coop, as well as fencing and a run. If your rental property doesn’t already have a fence and a coop, your tenant will certainly need to install one. Even though some chicken coops can be very nice, there’s no guarantee that the one your tenant will build will be. Plus, if your tenants decide to leave, and even if they take the coop with them, that will result in dead and damaged landscaping where the coop used to be.

Biohazard Risk

Another hazard that chickens pose is that chicken droppings are a potential biohazard. Chicken poop is untidy, stinky, and usually gets tracked everywhere, including inside the house itself. Moreover, chicken droppings can carry diseases that can put the health of you and your tenants at risk.

Attract Rodents and Predators

Rodents and other pests are opportunistic feeders. That indicates they will be attracted to places where food is convenient and ample. Rodents love chicken coops because of that. The rodents will not only be enticed to the chicken feed, but they may also aim for the chicken eggs or even the chickens themselves. The same thing is true for wild animals or even domesticated cats and dogs. If an owl, neighborhood stray, or even your neighbor’s beloved pet comes into your rental yard, the following massacre won’t be a pleasant situation.

Noise Issues

Another concern with keeping chickens is the noise. Chickens can be pretty loud, even hens. Chickens produce a wide range of loud sounds that can upset a nearby neighbor. If your rental property’s yard isn’t big enough, those noisy birds might become a nuisance or, in certain situations, even violate noise ordinances.

In spite of some instances of tenants successfully keeping chickens, the hazards aren’t worth it for most property owners. Obviously, each scenario and rental property is unique, so selecting correctly for you and your tenants is essential.

 

Would you want assistance fielding tenant requests for animals, pets, or other things? Our Fells Point property managers can assist! Contact Real Property Management Metro for more information on how we help rental property owners like you keep your tenants happy and protect your investment at once.

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.