When your Fort Collins tenants have asked for permission to install a hot tub, you may be wondering what to respond to their inquiry. On the other hand, tenants who buy and install a hot tub usually cover all the costs and maintenance involved. However, owning a hot tub on the property may pose serious risks, many of which could end up with costly repairs, litigation, or much 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. From the two, a hot tub is far less expensive and requires far less alteration of the property. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any implications for your property. For instance, 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 remains when they leave? Will they take the hot tub with them, or leave it behind? If they bring it, is it okay for you to have an empty concrete pad sitting in your yard? All these are questions you should ask and answer before making a decision.
From the start, you might see an opportunity to allow your tenants to set up a hot tub. Adding a hot tub to your rental property might be an attractive feature for future tenants. You can also be able to charge a higher rent right away by offering either a hot tub pad or a hot tub itself. If your tenant decides to leave the hot tub behind the moment that 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 imperative to test and adjust the spa water at least twice a week. The spa filter needs to 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, yet imagine a scenario where they don’t. A neglected hot tub could become a serious health hazard, at this 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 needs to be carefully supervised and follow proper safety precautions. Trusting your tenant to do this may sound like too big of a gamble since injuries from misuse could still become your legal nightmare. Also, several tenants might not want a hot tub for these very reasons, which would limit the choices of applicants when you try to consider a new tenant next time.
There are many reasons not to allow a hot tub on your Fort Collins rental property. But if you do decide to allow one, at a minimum, it is essential to require a separate agreement to help you mitigate the risks related. 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 afterward.
If you’re managing rental properties in Fort Collins and would like more insight on how to write your lease agreement, the Fort Collins property managers at Real Property Management Property of the Rockies can help. Contact us online or call us at 970-658-0410 today.
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