When your West Hartford tenants have asked for permission to install a hot tub, you might be thinking what to tell them. Mostly, tenants who buy and install a hot tub usually cover all the costs and maintenance involved. Though putting in a hot tub on the property may pose serious risks, most of them may end up with costly repairs, litigation, or more. Before allowing your residents to have a hot tub, it is important first to understand all the risks and benefits that come 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. Among the two, a hot tub is far less expensive and requires far less alteration of the property. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any implications for your property. For instance, most hot tubs need to installed on a concrete pad or another platform, most of which are permanent fixtures. Although the padding might be in use while your current tenant is renting the house, what happens when they exit? Will they take the hot tub with them, or leave it behind? If they take it, are you going to be all right with 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 place in a hot tub. Adding a hot tub to your rental property might result in being an attractive feature for future tenants. You can also be able to charge a higher rent directly by offering either a hot tub pad or a hot tub itself. If your tenant decides to leave the hot tub behind when they leave, you could 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 essential 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 needs to 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, in this case, 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 each tub or pool always carries the risk of drowning. Anyone utilizing the hot tub needs to be carefully supervised and follow proper safety precautions. Trusting your tenant to do so may appear too big of a gamble since injuries from misuse could still become a legal nightmare. Furthermore, a few tenants may not get a hot tub for these very reasons, which will reduce the number of candidates the next time you need to find a new tenant.
There are many reasons not to allow a hot tub on your West Hartford rental property. But if you decide to allow one, at a minimum, you should require a separate agreement to help you mitigate the risks associated. If you want your tenant to remove the hot tub or the concrete pad when they move out, you need to put that in writing, as well. Either way, it is important to get a detailed discussion with your tenant about their request and then communicate your decision later.
If you’re managing rental properties in West Hartford and would want more insight on how to write your lease agreement, the West Hartford property managers at Real Property Management Hartford Metro/Greater New London can help. Contact us online or call us at 860-436-9955 today.
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