In case your Newport News tenants have asked for permission to install a hot tub, you may be worrying about what to tell them. If you think about it, tenants who buy and install a hot tub usually cover all the costs and maintenance involved. However, having a hot tub on the property may pose serious risks, many of which may end up with costly repairs, litigation, or more. Before allowing your residents to have a hot tub, it’s important first to understand all the risks and benefits that go with it.
If your property doesn’t already have a hot tub or swimming pool, you might 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. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any implications for your property. For instance, most hot tubs have to be installed on a concrete pad or another platform, most of which are permanent fixtures. Even though the padding might be in use while your current tenant is renting the home, what happens when they leave? Will they take the hot tub with them, or leave it behind? In case they take it, will you be alright with having an empty concrete pad sitting in your yard? These are all questions you should ask and answer before making a decision.
At first look, you might see an opportunity to allow your tenants to put in a hot tub. Adding a hot tub to your rental property might end up being an attractive feature for future tenants. You may even be able to charge a higher rent simply by offering either a hot tub pad or a hot tub itself. If your tenant decides to leave the hot tub behind when they move out, you could wind up with a nice little bump in your property values.
Still, 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 important to test and adjust the spa water at least twice a week. The spa filter will need to be cleaned once a month, and the entire spa drained, scrubbed, and refilled three or four times a year. The spa cover must 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 don’t? A neglected hot tub could become a serious health hazard, at which point 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. But 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 should be carefully supervised and follow proper safety precautions. Trusting your tenant to do so may seem like too big of a gamble since injuries from misuse could still become your legal nightmare. What is more, some tenants may not want a hot tub for these very reasons, which will restrict your pool of candidates the next time you need to find a new tenant.
There are many reasons not to allow a hot tub on your Newport News rental property. But if you do decide to allow one, at a minimum, you should require a separate agreement to help you mitigate the risks that are associated. If you want your tenant to remove the hot tub or the concrete pad when they move out, you should 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 afterward.
If you’re managing rental properties in Newport News and would like more insight on how to write your lease agreement, the Newport News property managers at Real Property Management VA Peninsula can help. Contact us online or call us at 757-251-9188 today.
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