If your Santa Monica tenants have asked for permission to get a hot tub, you might be thinking about what to tell them. Regularly, tenants who buy and install a hot tub usually cover all the costs and maintenance involved. Though owning a hot tub on the property may pose serious risks, most of them may 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. Between both, 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 example, 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 house, what happens when they leave? Will they take the hot tub with them, or leave it behind? If they carry it, are you going to be alright with an empty concrete pad sitting in your yard? These are all questions you should ask and answer before making a decision.
From the beginning, 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 by offering either a hot tub pad or a hot tub itself. If your tenant decides to leave the hot tub behind after they leave, you could wind up with a nice little bump in your property values.
Nevertheless, 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 necessary 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 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, in this matter, 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 some tub or pool always carries the risk of drowning. Anyone utilizing the hot tub must be carefully supervised and follow proper safety precautions. Trusting your tenant to do that may appear to be too big of a gamble since injuries from misuse could still become your legal nightmare. Furthermore, for these same reasons, several tenants may not get a hot tub, which will restrict the number of applicants the next time you need to find a new tenant.
There are many reasons not to allow a hot tub on your Santa Monica rental property. But if you decide to allow one, at a minimum, it is vital to 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 should put that in writing, too. Either way, it is important to get a detailed discussion with your tenant about their request and then communicate your decision afterward.
If you’re managing rental properties in Santa Monica and would want more insight on how to write your lease agreement, the Santa Monica property managers at Real Property Management West San Fernando Valley can help. Contact us online or call us at 818-727-0100 today.
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