Tenant wants to install fence

7 Replies

I just rented out my single family home and the tenants asked me if they can install a fence in the backyard because I don't have one. Is it worth the risk for them to do it or maybe ask them to split the cost to put a fence in? They plan on renting with me for a while. (Of course is they are paying on time)

Sure you can go 50/50 with them, make sure they use a licensed contractor. Make sure you see the insurance on the vendor too.

Lot lines need to be determined, everything this time of year for install is going to need to be a quick install at least for the posts.. It's WINTER.. 

I'd personally never let a tenant do any work on my property if I want it done I hire it or do it myself.

If the tenant wants the fence, make sure you have them sign something saying they are doing this on their own and no value is attributed to them, even in the event of an eviction. In other words, if they move out a month after having the fence installed, you own them NOTHING and they can't take the fence with them or withhold any rent. They should also have to pay for the lot survey to determine property lines. How do YOU feel about a fence on YOUR Property?

I'd have to agree with Deanna on this. It makes me cringe to think of tenants doing any work themselves on my property. I'd say, if you like the idea of a fence being put up, split the cost with them but use a professional contractor and have all the plans approved by you prior to starting the work. If you couldn't care less about a fence, tell the tenant the cost is all on them but they STILL need to have the work done by a professional contractor and the design/plan has to be approved by you prior to starting the work. 

ALSO, if you do allow them to have it installed and they are covering the cost, I'd make sure that you get in touch with the contractor and insure that the tenants have paid him upfront. You'd hate for them to have a $1,500 fence installed and decide they don't want to pay for it anymore and leave in the middle of the night with the contractor calling your phone asking for the payment.

Be sure to find out why the tenant wants the fence.  Then, you should make the determination whether the fence is needed or not, what it should look like (location, height, material), who will maintain it, who will install it and who will pay for it. A fence can add value to a property and make it more desirable, especially for families with small children and/or pets.

We had a tenant who asked to install a six foot fence. We asked her why and she told us it was required to get her daycare licensed. WHAT? Yep, without our knowledge, she had been taking in other people's children to babysit during the day and thus running an unlicensed daycare out of our duplex unit. Needless to say, we didn't allow the fence and we required her to cease operation of the daycare.

Another tenant who wanted a fence, wanted to put it up in a way that blocked sight lines that were important for us to maintain for security reasons. CPTED.... crime prevention through environmental design.... good ideas for making properties less prone to crime.....worth looking into.

We had a tenant who wanted a deck (wood) added to the back of the house he was renting from us, we approved it (in writing) and the tenant paid for it and did all the work (he was skilled at making decks). After he moved, the deck stayed with the property (as per our agreement terms) and since then we've been the ones maintaining it by cleaning it and applying preservative as needed. It adds value to the property and makes it more attractive to rent. So all's good.

As to who pays for the fence.... well everything's negotiable. Just be sure to put your agreement in writing so there's no room for misunderstandings. And like others have said, you need to approve the plans and the contractor who will be doing the work.

don't try to split the cost at first (try to get a free fence). Just tell them they need to have it professionally installed and get the proper permits. then tell them once its installed they can't take it with them or anything upon them vacating the property.

Never let a tenant do any work themselves on your property. In this case if you were not intending to install a fence why would you be going there simply because they asked. What are they going to ask for next.

If YOU want a fence hire a contractor and have one put in. If you want them to pay tell them in advance what it will cost and they will quickly change their minds. 

In this case they pay or they do not get a fence. Period.

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