If your Fells Point tenants have asked for permission to acquire a hot tub, you may be wondering what to respond to them. Mainly, tenants who buy and install a hot tub usually cover all the costs and maintenance involved. But placing a hot tub on the property may pose serious risks, many of them may end up with costly repairs, litigation, or even more. Before allowing your residents to have a hot tub, it’s important first to understand all the risks and benefits involved with it.
When your property doesn’t already have a hot tub or swimming pool, you may be unsure about agreeing to let your tenant install one. Between the two, a hot tub is far less expensive and requires far less alteration of the property. Even then, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any implications for your property. Let’s say, most hot tubs should be installed on a concrete pad or another platform, most of which are permanent fixtures. While the padding might be in use while your current tenant is renting the home, what’s going to happen when they depart? Will they take the hot tub with them, or leave it behind? What if they bring it, are you going to be okay with having an empty concrete pad sitting in your yard? These are all questions you should ask and answer before making a decision.
From the start, you might see an opportunity to allow your tenants to have a hot tub. Adding a hot tub to your rental property will eventually be an attractive feature for future tenants. You could also be able to charge a higher rent quickly by offering either a hot tub pad or a hot tub itself. When your tenant decides to leave the hot tub behind when they leave, you might wind up with a nice little bump in your property values.
However, there are several issues to consider, as well. Hot tubs require quite a lot of maintenance. To keep a hot tub clean and properly maintained, it is necessary to test and adjust the spa water at least twice a week. The spa filter should be cleaned once a month, and the entire spa drained, scrubbed, and refilled three or four times a year. The spa cover should be removed and aired out twice a week to prevent mold, and the water levels carefully maintained. You may assume your tenant will do all of the upkeep, but what if they’re not? A neglected hot tub could become a serious health hazard, so it is no longer just your tenant’s problem, but yours as well. If your tenant leaves the hot tub behind, the maintenance – and costs involved – are now your responsibility.
Another thing to consider carefully is the increased risk of injury or death. When used properly, hot tubs are relatively safe. Yet, wet surfaces can result in increased slips and falls, and any tub or pool always carries the risk of drowning. Everyone using the hot tub must be carefully supervised and follow proper safety precautions. Trusting your tenant to do so may look like too big of a gamble since injuries from misuse could still become your legal nightmare. Moreover, some tenants may not get a hot tub because of that, which will constrain your number of applicants the next time you try to locate a new tenant.
There are many reasons not to allow a hot tub on your Fells Point rental property. But if you do decide to allow one, at a minimum, you must require a separate agreement to help you to mitigate the risks associated. When you want your tenant to remove the hot tub or the concrete pad when they move out, you need to put that in writing, too. Either way, it is important to have a detailed discussion with your tenant about their request and then communicate your decision soon.
If you’re managing rental properties in Fells Point and would want more insight on how to write your lease agreement, the Fells Point property managers at Real Property Management Metro can help. Contact us online or call us at 410-290-3285 today.
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.