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Don’t Fence Me In: What Are the Boundaries for Your Suffolk Rental Property Fence?

Suffolk Rental Property with a Beautifully Well-Maintained FenceOne of the common reasons for installing a fence in a Suffolk rental house is the fact that many renters nowadays consider it as a factor when choosing a rental home. Particularly in the single-family rental home market, a fenced yard is something that draws in long-term renters. But when a fence gets damaged, who then bears the burden of paying for the repairs? The answer to that question depends on two things: the condition of the fence upon move in and how the fence was damaged.

If the fence around the property is in good repair but damaged by your tenant or their guests, your tenant is largely held liable to pay for repairs. Nevertheless, if the property’s fence is damaged by weather or another outside source or if the fence was neglected or falling down upon move in, the responsibility for repairs typically belongs to the property owner. The best way to determine responsibility for fence repairs is to include specific, clear language in your lease agreements related to property damage.

What is the Current Condition of the Fence?

Location is not a factor because there are state and local laws that necessitate property owners to make it a priority that their rental homes are not only habitable but also up to code. The focus of these regulations is often on the house itself, which must have sufficient weatherproofing and feature safe and functioning heat, electric, and plumbing systems.

But ensuring a house is fit for compliance with the code would also include the yard and any exterior structures. Because of this fact, and despite the reason for the fence– decorative or relevant to the building, fences are treated as part of the property and must be kept in good repair. A broken-down fence is a safety hazard and creates unwelcome liabilities for a landlord.

What is the State of Wear and Tear?

Fences require constant maintenance and repair, just like any other feature of a rental home. If the fence around your rental home is looking worn or hasn’t been repaired for a long time, it is the responsibility of the property owner to return the fence to good condition. This is true even if a fence gets damaged further because of tenant misuse.

Broken or collapsed sections of fencing is a serious safety hazard for which the property owner is responsible. This includes damage caused by severe weather or vandalism. These circumstances ought to be covered by a landlord’s insurance policy, implying that it is the landlord’s responsibility to make the essential repairs.

Who Caused the Damage?

If the fence throughout your rental home is in good repair but your renter or one of their guests damages it, the tenant is usually responsible for repairs. Such damage must go beyond normal wear and tear, such as hitting the fence with their car or if tenants or guests accidentally break slats or l panels.

Most leases state that in the event a renter causes damage to the property or allows others to do so, that renter is then responsible for paying for repairs. If your tenant refuses to do so, most landlord/tenant laws enable the landlord to subtract the expense from the security deposit.

Ensuring that a complete and detailed move-in/move-out checklist is filled out between every tenant is one way of documenting the condition of a rental home’s fence. This protects property owners from claims of existing repairs, as well as the tenant from accusations of negligence. When you hire Real Property Management Hampton Roads, you can be confident that such steps have been accomplished and that every aspect of your Suffolk rental home is being supervised on a regular basis if you are keen in learning more contact us online or by phone at 757-395-4274.

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.