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Do You Have The Right Type Of Insurance?

There are important steps that investors must take to ensure the success of their rental property; one of the most critical is that of procuring the right property insurance.

As your property management company, we cannot advise you specifically on what insurance policy to purchase. The purpose of this article is simply to make you aware of common insurance facts and questions that are important to ask your insurance provider. Failing to know what coverage you have could lead to major financial loss in the future.

Does my property have the right insurance for an investment/rental property? This is THE key question to ask. Many people do not realize that a normal homeowner’s insurance policy is generally invalid within 30 days after vacating the property and converting it to a rental property. A different policy should be put in place as soon as possible.

In addition, the best insurance for a rental policy will give you additional coverages, such as loss of rent. The type of insurance coverage for landlords generally falls under the umbrella term “property and casualty insurance.”

What type or types of insurance do I currently have on my rental property? Building coverage, hazard and fire Insurance, as well as liability insurance, are always needed for the physical property. However, there are additional insurances that can be carried, depending on the location of the property, age of the property, and other extenuating factors. Other insurances to investigate are flood insurance if you are in a flood plain, sewer backup insurance, workman’s compensation, terrorism insurance, and loss of income insurance. Question your agent on your current insurance and what other policies are available that would be appropriate for your investment and worth the cost.

A big key to obtaining the right insurance is to provide your agent with ALL the facts – age of the property, condition, area problems, special use, etc. It is very important to be specific on what “type” of investment property you have (for example, horse property, condominium, single-family, apartment etc.). Most landlord insurances are for 1-4 units and multiple units above this number are handled on a different basis.

I have outbuildings on my rental property, are they covered? Most policies generally do not include additional structures, unless specified. This is another reason why you need to disclose all the information to your insurance agent and obtain quotes.

Is my property covered for loss of rent? Covering rental loss, under the right circumstance (such as a building fire), is one of the pressing reasons for obtaining a good landlord/rental policy. There is no coverage for tenants giving a standard notice to quit and vacating the premises. However, it may cover vandalism during an eviction or vacancy – but you need to ask. Have your agent discuss in detail the paragraphs in your insurance paperwork which pertain to vacancies / income loss and what is your actual coverage.

Is my property covered for disasters such as fire, tornado, hurricane, tsunami, flood, and more? Normally, most natural disasters are not covered. However, the insurance company may make a determination that many damages are covered. For example, although a flood isn’t covered, there may be coverage for “water damage.” Another example, a house fire is usually covered for damage as long as the landlord has not shown neglect which caused the fire. The insurance company will have a list of criteria for what is and what is not covered for extreme conditions under the existing policy. Again, find out the facts, ask questions.

How can I reduce the cost of my landlord policy? Landlord insurance is more expensive than a homeowner policy and the main reason for the increased cost is that a landlord doesn’t have any control over a tenant’s actions, implying additional elements of risk. In spite of the higher cost, landlord insurance can be made more affordable through discounts for having security alarms, especially monitored ones, burglar alarms, deadbolt locks, and fire extinguishers. Ask your agent for recommendations on cost-saving items you can do. Remember, landlord insurance is worth the cost.

It is of utmost importance and your responsibility to consult your insurance provider regarding your coverage. It is also part of your contract with us that you provide our company with proof of insurance.

There are many insurance companies and plans available and it pays to compare coverage. If your agent cannot spare you the time to answer your questions, seriously think about shopping for another agent and/or company. Review your policies at least once a year, require that your agent provide you with the facts, and take out the best possible policy for your specific investment property to protect your investment.

If you have a question about this topic or need assistance with anything else, contact a TierOne Real Estate Property Manager at 801-486-6200 or use the form to the right – we are here to help you with your rental/investment property whether you are a current client or one in the making.

Renting to the Handicapped

Fair Housing is simple – do not discriminate. While this may be a basic principle, it is often not “easy” to follow, particularly in the area of handicapped or disabled persons. Many landlords often do not know or understand the legal requirements when it comes to renting to handicapped tenants, which can lead to costly lawsuits. Courts do not tolerate ignorance of Fair Housing laws and penalties can be extremely steep regarding discrimination against the disabled.

There are many Fair Housing Acts as well as Presidential Orders. The following acts are particularly important in the rental housing industry and disabilities.

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and handicap (disability)

The 1988 Fair Housing Amendments Act recognized the need to define and protect the rights of the disabled throughout American society.

Title II of the American Disability Act (ADA) of 1990 prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs, services, and activities provided or made available by public entities. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces Title II when it relates to state and local public housing, housing assistance, and housing referrals.

Fair Housing defines “handicap” as:

A physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of a person’s major life activities
A record of having such an impairment
Being regarded as having such an impairment

Property owners cannot refuse to rent to a handicapped person if they are qualified to rent the property. Under ADA, owners may not inquire if a person has a disability, or ask questions concerning the nature or severity of a disability. However, they can make the following inquiries if they ask them of all applicants:

Inquire into applicant’s ability to meet requirements of tenancy
Inquire whether an applicant is qualified for a dwelling available only to persons with handicaps or a particular type of handicap

There are several areas regarding the disabled that can lead to trouble – one is that of assistance animals. These animals are not “pets” under Fair Housing laws and owners cannot charge “pet deposits” or increased deposits for a handicapped/disabled person who needs an assistant animal. While they cannot refuse the animal, owners can require the proper paperwork from disabled tenants or applicants before allowing the animal in the residence.

Property owners also cannot refuse to rent to handicapped tenants who require modifications to a dwelling. The 1988 Amendments Act requires that landlords allow persons with disabilities to make reasonable modification necessary at their own expense. Examples of this are widening doorways, installing grab bars, and lowering kitchen cabinets. In rentals, landlords may require, when reasonable, that the tenant restore the original condition when vacating the premises.

The 1988 Fair Housing Amendment also set up new requirements for new housing and HUD publishes technical assistance to builders, developers, and others regarding new construction.

There is, of course, so much more to the Fair Housing acts that govern the disabled that we cannot cover in this article space. To obtain more information go to the following HUD and Justice Department websites.

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm

http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/FHLaws/index.cfm

As your property management company, we understand the importance of following all Fair Housing laws to protect you and your investment. Following Fair Housing is sound property management practice that reduces your liability.

If you have a question about this topic or need assistance with anything else, contact a TierOne Real Estate Property Manager at 801-486-6200 or use the form to the right – we are here to help you with your rental/investment property whether you are a current client or one in the making.

What If The Tenant Quits?

It is the first of the month and the rent is due. The rent does not come in and a notice to pay rent or quit is served. The majority of tenants pay the rent. But what if the tenant decides to “quit,” by vacating the property?

The first reaction is usually anger and outrage on this unfair turn of events because the owner will not have the rent and there is a high probability there will be damage. When the initial emotion passes, it is more productive to take a different perspective.

It is better to have a sudden vacancy than go through the strain of waiting to see if they are going to pay, working through the excuses and behavior of a tenant stalling for time, and then having them vacate anyway.
The property manager and owner now do not have to make the agonizing decision to start formal eviction proceedings or spend time waiting for the rent.
Bypassing an eviction means avoiding more expenditures and time to remove the tenant.
If the current tenant is not going to pay the rent, it is better to have the property back so a paying tenant can be procured and the tenancy can be improved.
The security deposit can be applied to damages and loss of rent.

Can you take possession?

Yes, if a tenant abandons the property, you can take possession. If they have left personal property in the residence, then consideration has to be given to the value of what is left behind and how to dispose of it. It is important that a property owner does not rush into selling off the personal items of a tenant to regain what the tenant owes them.

Do they still owe the rent?

If they are on a lease, the tenant will still owe the rent until the property is re-rented or the ending date of the lease, whichever comes first. If they are on a month-to-month tenancy, the rent is normally due for what is specified in the rental contract regarding the amount of notice required.
Do you still have to send a statement on a security deposit?

Yes, even if it is to the property address with a “please forward and/or address correction required.” This way, the property manager and/or owner are covered for itemizing the monies deducted against the amount of the deposit. It is good business to itemize security deposit damages whether the tenant vacates suddenly or follows the terms of the contract.

Can you report them to a credit reporting agency?

Yes, as long as there is written documentation, attempt at notification, and if the rental agreement and/or notice to quit contains important wording notifying the tenant that the landlord has the right to report them to a credit reporting agency. This is required under Federal Credit Reporting Act law.
Can you still seek damages?

Yes, you can always seek damages in any situation if a tenant owes rent or damages. The first step is to obtain a judgment in small claims or report the loss to a credit reporting agency.
How can you collect damages?

The best solution is to use a collection agency since they have the tools and expertise to track people who owe money. Although the agency does collect a fee, it is better to receive some remuneration rather than nothing at all.

How do you avoid this situation?

As your property management company, our solution is to prevent this by obtaining a qualified tenant. However, there are no guarantees this will work. People often encounter difficult situations, such as divorce, drugs, loss of employment, high medical bills, and more that often lead to poor judgment in handling their personal situation.

However, if the tenant quits, it is better to take the most productive course of action and move on to a better tenancy for your investment and your peace of mind.

If you have a question about this topic or need assistance with anything else, contact a TierOne Real Estate Property Manager at 801-486-6200 or use the form to the right – we are here to help you with your rental/investment property whether you are a current client or one in the making.

What Is Your Investment Property Due Diligence

Long Term or Flipping

Determine whether you desire a long-term property investment or a “flipping” property. Long-term investments produce positive cash flow, increasing your net worth. If you plan to flip, your focus will be on property appreciation and a quick return.

Flipping Caveats

Your profit margin depends on your acquisition cost, and it’s important you buy the property at a low price so you can sell at a profit. However, finding that property at a low price is getting more difficult as inventory drops and currently, it’s a buyers’ market.
If a property is super cheap, the amount you may need to spend on repairs will drive up the cost.
Even if you buy at a great price and get the property ready for the market, there’s no guarantee it’s going to sell.

Good Property Features

Research areas that have features to enhance the value of your investment.

Quality neighborhoods close to a metro area and properties near business districts are all desirable locations.
Close to public transportation. Public transportation no more than 15 minutes away from the property is ideal.
Lifestyle amenities within 10 minutes of the property. These include malls, schools, libraries, theaters, parks, restaurants, cafes, and gyms.
Areas that have a good renter to homeowner ratio.
Need to check with local police for crime statistics in the subject neighborhood.
Jobs market.
Property taxes.

Get a Feel for the Neighborhood

Park your car, and walk around to chat with anyone willing to share insight on the neighborhood. Check with the city or county planning department to get an idea of what the area’s future holds. New business developments such as new retail outlets mean area growth is good news. If new subdivisions and apartment complexes are planned, they could drive down your rents and increase your time in finding a suitable tenant and lower the value of your investment.
Consult with a Professional

Never take a Realtor’s claim on his or her rental rate projection; it could simply be a sales ploy. If you work with a Realtor who is representing you on the purchase of an investment property, get a second opinion from a professional property manager such as TierOne Real Estate Property Management.

Bonus Advice

Avoid areas that have 2 or more apartment communities; scarcity is a desirable attribute, since rents nosedive with plenty of available rental units.
Try to buy the property at least 10 percent below market price. This gives you room should you decide to sell the property.
The specific property you buy dictates the time required to manage it.
Several investment property types require substantial property management. These would include college rentals, vacation rentals, and properties in crime-ridden or low-income areas.
If you buy a high-maintenance property, you should hire a property management company but expect to pay a premium. You can expect to pay 10-15 percent of the rental gross and lease fees as well. You will also incur higher administrative and legal fees as well.
Be open to discuss your plans with real estate professionals. These folks have great insight into the market, and they are more than happy to spare a few moments to offer advice.

The Bottom Line

Most important point I can make is to discuss rental rates and occupancy factors with a professional, one who does property management for a living. Remember, rarely does the sales agent helping you find and close investment rental property have the knowledge that a property manager has within that given market area. Make sure you go over all available data on the property you plan to buy, and do a thorough investigation to make sure your decision is sound. Since knowledge is power, though, due diligence always pays off in the end. And, last but not least, always discuss with a professional property manager.

If you have a question about this topic or need assistance with anything else, contact a TierOne Real Estate Property Manager at 801-486-6200 or use the form to the right – we are here to help you with your rental/investment property whether you are a current client or one in the making.

What is Useful Life and Why is it Important?

All things on earth have a life expectancy – people, buildings, clothing, food, etc. All the parts of an investment property have a life expectancy as well. A building can last for years, even centuries, while you may have to replace that dishwasher next year or in ten years.
Why is it useful to consider life expectancy?

It is always better to know as much about your property as possible. Property owners can do more planning and budgeting if they are aware of the life of different items in their investment property, such as heating units, air-conditioners, various appliances, garage door openers, or water heaters. Knowledge can also help you plan for the unexpected – for example, it may be worthwhile to pay for a 3-5 year warranty than paying for a high maintenance bill when that one-year warranty expires one day after purchase on the new dishwasher.
How can you figure out the life expectancy of an item?

The following is a chart compiled from various Internet sources that generally agree on the life expectancy of various appliances and features in a property. The information below is to provide you with a general idea and the numbers can vary. There is no way to give you an “exact” chart because many factors can affect the life expectancy of your appliances and systems, such as care, maintenance, type, and the number of features.

Item Average life (years)
Dishwasher 5-10
Range, electric 13-16
Range, gas 13-19
Range hoods 9-14
Microwave 5-8
Refrigerator, standard 14-17
Freezer 12-16
Garbage disposal 10-13
Trash compactor 7-12
Clothes dryer – electric 11-14
Clothes dryer – gas 11-14
Clothes washer electric 11-14
Clothes dryer – electric 11-14
Heating, central 15-20
Air-conditioner, central 15-20
Garage door opener 20-25
Water heater 10-25

Sit down and create a similar chart for the systems and appliances in your investment property. Other steps can help you with this task.

When you buy a property, you may not know the exact age of the appliance but you can easily find out the building age and a physical inspection of the appliance can give you some indication of its age.
Talking with the selling agent or even a former owner can help.
Take into consideration the condition, care, and history, previous care of the property.
You can also research the manufacturer of existing appliances or pending purchases online.
This exercise will at least make you think about the expectations in your current property or you may be considering another investment.
Add one more column to your chart and list a “replacement price.”

By creating this chart, you are ready when it is necessary to repair or replace a system or appliance in your property. As your property management company, we have years of experience handling appliances and systems. Contact us if you have any questions on your property; we are happy to help you.

If you have a question about this topic or need assistance with anything else, contact a TierOne Real Estate Property Manager at 801-486-6200 or use the form to the right – we are here to help you with your rental/investment property whether you are a current client or one in the making.

How Is Your Rental Property Insured?

Many times when an investor is considering the purchase of a rental property, they look to the typical financial metrics such as cap rate, occupancy rate, square footage, occupancy, etc. All of these are great measurement tools in the evaluation of a purchase. But while the property is being evaluated, don’t forget to ask about the insurance questions as well.

The ability to obtain cost-effective insurance along with the appropriate coverage for the owner as well as the lender can have an equal effect on your bottom line. Listed below are some of the areas of concern as well as the questions to ask:

1. Has the property had any claims, both for property or liability issues? Claims happen, that’s what the insurance is for. Find out when the claim happened and what was paid.

Were all the repairs made from the damage? A good insurance agent can help you obtain this information from the prior carrier.
Were there any liability claims, what happened, what has been done to prevent further claims?

2. Have there been any updates to the property? What is the age of the roof; have there been any electrical or HVAC updates? While it is rare for a property owner to completely gut and rehab, there may have been some moderate updates.

When was the roof replaced?
Has the current owner changed out any electrical boxes? HVAC systems?
If you have not owned the property long, did the previous owner do any updates?

3. Occupancy or future plans

If the investment property has serious occupancy or existing deferred maintenance conditions; let your new insurance agent know what you will be doing to improve these conditions.
Provide a list of repairs that are planned and the timetable. Provide your marketing program to increase the occupancy.

The above questions always seem to be the hardest to obtain, probably because the answers have to come from the seller who a buyer may not have direct access to. This is a great time for the listing realtor to be of considerable help. There are many other basic questions in insuring a property, most of which can be answered by the real estate agent assisting you in this transaction. I would also suggest getting advice from a professional property manager such as TierOne Real Estate.

If you have a question about this topic or need assistance with anything else, contact a TierOne Real Estate Property Manager at 801-486-6200 or use the form to the right – we are here to help you with your rental/investment property whether you are a current client or one in the making.

The Challenges of Security Deposit Returns

One of the most difficult tasks for a property manager and/or owner, can be refunding the tenant’s security deposit to everyone’s satisfaction. Any property manager (or owner) is elated when they can issue a full refund because the tenant has left the property in excellent condition, complied with their rental agreement, and paid their rent in full. Unfortunately, there are times when deductions must be made for loss of rent and damages, leading to the dissatisfaction of the departing tenant. However, steps can be taken to optimize a successful reconciliation between all parties.

Step 1 – “Start before the tenant moves in”. This may sound like an odd approach to take but common sense steps in the beginning will increase the odds for success when the tenant moves out.

First, we prepare the unit in a clean reasonable condition for when the tenant moves in. For, example, it is really difficult to charge for painting when the walls were scarred and marked when the tenant moved in. If the property is in good condition, then it is reasonable to expect the same condition when the tenant moves out.
We document the property condition before the tenant moves in. With this completed at the beginning of the tenancy, there are grounds for deductions if there are tenant damages at the end. It may not always be possible to avoid litigation so it is very important to have complete records to defend keeping any or all of the security deposit monies.
We conduct a thorough tenant screening. Starting with the right tenant in the beginning eliminates most problems regarding a security deposit refund at the end of the tenancy. A good tenant will care for the property while renting, complete all required payments, and leave the residence in good condition. Good tenants want to maintain a good rental history and credit; in addition, they want their security deposit back.
We complete a detailed rental agreement that complies with state laws and executed to ensure that the tenant fully understands and signs what is expected of them during tenancy and when they move out Proper documentation details what rent is due until the end of the tenancy, when rent is to be paid, and what condition is expected of the property when they move out. The rental agreement also clearly states the amount of the security deposit paid by the tenant.

Step 2 – “Continue important functions during the tenancy.” This can avoid legal issues where the tenant feels they have the right to use the security deposit for rent or repairs while they are still renting.

Complete necessary repairs in a timely manner.
Maintain accurate maintenance records.
Keep accurate financial records on rent, late fees, and any other funds collected from the tenant.

Step 3 – “Complete the move out and refund of the deposit in a timely manner.” It is important to remember that settling the security deposit in a timely manner will be to the benefit of all parties.

The property condition is properly documented and completed with the tenant whenever possible.
A refund and/or statement of condition detailing the deductions is issued in accordance with state laws.
If circumstances dictate that the security deposit has been forfeited, we itemize repairs and details of all unpaid monies and issue a statement to the tenant at the last known address. This needs to be completed even if the tenant owes the property owner money.
Failure to issue a security deposit statement and/or fund within the timeline of state law can lead to larger financial loss.

Step 4 – “Use common sense if there is any dispute regarding the security deposit.”

If the tenant challenges the deductions, it is important to evaluate if it is worth the dispute. Sometimes, even a small compromise will settle the matter. Remember that a legal action can be more costly than simply refunding the amount challenged.
Most tenants do not dispute the loss of their security deposit when they owe more than they paid.
When necessary, we consult an experienced attorney, and discuss your options with you based on their advice.

Handling a security deposit is not always easy. By taking the right steps from the beginning of the tenancy until the end, we find the process easier.

If you have a question about this topic or need assistance with anything else, contact a TierOne Real Estate Property Manager at 801-486-6200 or use the form to the right – we are here to help you with your rental/investment property whether you are a current client or one in the making.

Swamp Cooler Information

In evaporative cooler should have at least two speeds and a vent-only option. During vent-only operation, the water pump does not operate and the outdoor air is not humidified. This lets you use the evaporative cooler as a whole-house fan during mild weather.

Control the cooler’s air movement through the house by adjusting window openings. Open the windows or vents on the leeward side of the house to provide 1 to 2 square feet of opening for each 1,000 cfm of cooling capacity. Experiment to find the right windows to open and the correct amount to open them. If the windows are open too far, hot air will enter. If the windows are not open far enough, humidity will build up in the home.

You can regulate both temperature and humidity by opening windows in the areas you want to cool, and closing windows in unoccupied areas. Where open windows create a security issue, install up-ducts in the ceiling. Up-ducts open to exhaust warm air into the attic as cooler air comes in from the evaporative cooler. Evaporative coolers installed with up-ducts will need additional attic ventilation.

Optional filters remove most of the dust from incoming air — an attractive option for homeowners concerned about allergies. Filters can also reduce the tendency of some coolers to pull water droplets from the pads into the blades of the fan. Most evaporative coolers do not have air filters as original equipment, but they can be fitted to the cooler during or after installation.

Evaporative Cooler Maintenance

Save yourself a lot of work and money by draining and cleaning your evaporative cooler regularly. Build-up of sediment and minerals should be regularly removed. Coolers need a major cleaning every season, and may need routine maintenance several times during the cooling season.

The more a cooler runs, the more maintenance it will need. In hot climates where the cooler operates much of the time, look at the pads, filters, reservoir, and pump at least once a month. Replace the pads at least twice during the cooling season, or as often as once a month during continuous operation.

Some paper and synthetic cooler pads can be cleaned with soap and water or a weak acid according to manufacturer’s instructions. Filters should be cleaned when the pads are changed or cleaned. Be sure to disconnect the electricity to the unit before servicing it.

Contingencies. Are You Prepared?

At TierOne Real Estate, we continually work on educating tenants for any event that could happen during their tenancy. This includes making rental payments, reporting maintenance, handling emergencies, checking smoke alarms, practicing good neighbor policies, buying renter’s insurance, and more. Of course, we hope that they always follow our advice, but we know that it is human nature to avoid or ignore the possibility of emergencies or disaster situations.

It is just as important for property owners to prepare for all possible contingencies. No one likes to think about the possibility of vacancies/evictions, tenant damage, and emergencies because it can be disruptive both financially and emotionally. However, being prepared can make a bad situation tolerable for both owners and tenants. There are several areas to consider.

Property Insurance Evaluation

This is probably the most obvious and important item to have in place for unwanted events. It pays to review possible scenarios and coverage with your insurance agent at least once a year. Insurance policies are subject to change, particularly when catastrophes occur. With all the catastrophes that have occurred in the last few years and the resulting high losses, insurance companies are continually making major policy changes. Often notifications are obscure with “small print.” Too often property owners find out that their insurance does not apply to a particular situation until “after” it happens. Find out specifically what catastrophes, emergencies, tenant damage, and rent losses are covered or not covered.

Property Records, Accounts & History

Another area that everyone fears is an audit by a government agency, particularly the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The best way to prepare for an audit is to create and maintain your investment records consistently and accurately. Keep all tax returns, property management reports, maintenance records, financial receipts, and property documents organized in one place where you can easily retrieve and review them if you have an audit. Maintain them yearly and when you need this information, you will have it for any circumstance, such as an audit or sale of the property. It is much easier to maintain files than try to recreate them later. In addition, they will probably be more accurate.

Formulate a Maintenance Plan of Action

Just like your home, periodic work is necessary to maintain investment property. Do you have a maintenance plan of action for future years? It is not practical to bury your head in the sand and “hope for the best” when it comes to roofs, paint, carpeting, appliances, fencing, plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning, heating, miscellaneous repairs, and more. Figure out the life of all major items and make a plan to have work done periodically to avoid unnecessary major rehabilitation. Take a “preventative maintenance” approach to reduce expenses and stress.

Do You Have A Financial Plan?

Do you have a financial plan for your maintenance plan? Have you considered how you would cover expenses in the event of an eviction and loss of rent? What funds and coverage will you need if there is a fire? If a disaster happens, such as high winds, tornado, hurricane, fire, and flooding, how will you sustain the property? Insurance may not cover everything. Talk with your bank or available financial institutions about what financing you could obtain if necessary. Even better, establish an emergency fund in an interest bearing account. If something happens, you have an immediate resource to use.

You do not want to fall victim to the old adage, “fail to plan and plan to fail.” Planning now can help prepare for the unexpected.

If you have a question about this topic or need assistance with anything else, contact a TierOne Real Estate Property Manager at 801-486-6200 or use the form to the right – we are here to help you with your rental/investment property whether you are a current client or one in the making.

Backyard Fire Pits

Now that the nice warm weather has arrived more people will be moving outside for their entertainment. This could mean the use of fire pits. How does that affect your investment property?

A backyard fire pit can be fun, but it can also be a hazard. If you allow your tenants to have a fire pit at your rental property, make sure they follow a few safety tips to decrease risk.

  1. Set up fire pit on a solid surface, in an open area, away from the building and trees.
  2. Have a fire extinguisher or hose near by.
  3. Require the use of a fire screen
  4. Extinguish fire completely, with water, after every use.

If you aren’t comfortable even with these rules. then don’t allow your tenants to have fire pits. There is always some danger that comes with open flame.

Need advice on how to get rid of a tenants fire pit? Call us today! 801-486-6200

Licensed with the Utah Division of Real Estate