Fireplace Considerations for Landlords & Property Managers
If you are considering renting out a house that has a fireplace, there are several pros and cons to consider. One benefit is that rental costs are higher with a fireplace because it’s a favorite home feature. Another item for the pro column is that properties with a fireplace are typically more in-demand than properties without one. Added risk comes with a fireplace, though. Read on to learn what landlords and property managers should consider, whether they are considering an electric, wood, or gas fireplace.
Check on Fireplace Insurance Liability
Insurance costs on a rental property are always higher than for properties without the added risk of disaster. Make a comparison between the higher cost of insurance and whether the increased rental cost makes up the difference. If the numbers are similar, the only way a fireplace would make sense is if competition for renters is fierce.
Fireplace Tips for Landlords and Property Managers
If you are going to rent out a property that is equipped with a working fireplace, the following are some tips to help prevent property damage and harm to occupants.
Schedule Regular Chimney Maintenance
It is crucial to schedule regular chimney inspections and cleaning because they are basic steps in chimney safety. Chimneys are highly vulnerable to damage caused by the elements, especially moisture. In addition, if you have a wood-burning fireplace on the property, highly flammable creosote builds up inside the chimney. Creosote buildup can cause chimney fires, home fires, and obstruction resulting in exposure to deadly carbon monoxide.
Ensure There are Operational Detectors
Make certain that the home is equipped with both operational smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke alarms are required just about everywhere across the nation. Carbon monoxide detectors, however, are not always required by state or local building codes.
Regardless of the requirements, be as diligent about ensuring the installation of working carbon monoxide detectors as you are about smoke detectors. If any type of obstruction should occur in the fireplace or if the fireplace becomes smoky, occupants of the home can be exposed to deadly carbon monoxide. It is known as the Silent Killer because it is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. What’s especially alarming is that carbon monoxide is symptomless until the point when it is often difficult to escape the fumes and get to safety.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Provide a working fire extinguisher for the home and be sure it is not expired. If it is found to be defective or if the resident uses the extinguisher, immediately replace it.
Include Fireplace Duties in the Lease
Make it clear in the property lease who is responsible for the care and maintenance of the fireplace and what is involved in its care. This will eliminate confusion, and it’s a good way to ensure that the fireplace is cared for properly.
Also, spell out the responsibilities of the tenant in using the fireplace. Provide training to the tenants on how to safely use the fireplace.
Require Renters Insurance
Include a requirement of carrying renters’ insurance in the lease. Because a fireplace is an added risk, the renters insurance can cover fire damage if a fire occurs and it is the tenants’ fault.
Yankee Doodle, Inc. Stove & Fireplace Center has a destination showroom with many wood, electric, and gas fireplaces to choose from. The helpful staff members are experts who can answer all of your questions and make recommendations to ensure optimal efficiency and professional installation of a new heating appliance for your home or rental property. Call Yankee Doodle today at 203-544-8111.