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Should Your Bluff Springs Tenants be Burning Leaves?

A Rake Resting on a Pile of Colorful Autumn LeavesAutumn brings brightly colored trees and piles of fallen leaves. But that just raises the question of what we’re supposed to do with all the fallen leaves after we’ve raked them up. You can burn them. That’s a pretty popular method of disposing of unwanted leaves. But as a Bluff Springs rental property owner, should you really allow your tenants to do that? Should you let them be the ones to group all the leaves and burn them? While it is true that burning the leaves will help dispose of them quickly, you’re also risking the safety of your tenants if you let them do this dangerous task themselves. The convenience is just not worth the risk. However, if you help your tenant understand the safe and proper way of leaf disposal, you’ll be protecting them and your property at the same time.

Any type of open flame carries a certain amount of risk. But there are plenty of property owners that feel they are able to minimize the risks by following certain safety precautions. For example, property owners would find a clear patch of dirt with no overhanging branches or power lines. This is where they’d place their fallen leaves for burning. Then they’ll select a day that falls within a permitted burn timeline set by local governmental agencies, when winds are calm, and keep a garden hose on hand in case the flames get out of control.

However, precautions don’t mean guarantee. If the fire gets out of control, it will still cause property damage. Especially in dry conditions. You can have a small amount of wind blow and it will carry sparks into dry foliage, sparking dry grasses and other materials that are often abundant during the fall. When you have open flames in your property, you risk harming your tenant, their pets, or even strangers who happen to be nearby. It gets worse if the fire grows beyond your property boundaries. If things don’t go as planned and someone does get injured or if the property is damaged, then that puts you in a tough position. As the property owner, you may be held liable for medical costs, legal fees, and other related expenses. You’ll have to add the cost of that liability with the cost of the repairs to fix up your rental home. That potential cost is just very risky that it should strongly discourage you from permitting leaf burning as a disposal method.

While the risks alone already provide a compelling reason, there are more arguments to back up the decision to ban leaf burning on your rental property. For example, the smoke from burning leaves can produce toxic gases that can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and even trigger respiratory distress in individuals with asthma or other conditions. Burning leaves is also bad for the environment. Those same toxic gases get released into the atmosphere and have been shown to negatively impact both local and global ecosystems. After recognizing the drawbacks of burning leaves, some local governments have started banning leaf burning outright. Others didn’t but they lessened it by limiting it to certain months, designated locations, or to a certain size. Violating these municipal restrictions can result in fines and other legal consequences.

When burning leaves is a bad idea, you’ll need to find alternatives. There are other safer ways to get rid of those fallen leaves. A number of property owners use a mulching lawnmower to shred the fallen leaves. This reduces how much they’ll have to rake up. This manages the number of leaves that need to be removed since this approach turns it into fertilizer for your lawn instead. Alternatively, if your property has enough space, is you can compost your fallen leaves. Select an unused corner away from the house and do it there. A third option is to hire a clean-up crew to come and haul your fallen leaves away, which is really very efficient. The drawback, however, is that there will be some additional costs.

Whichever method you end up choosing would be okay as long as the fallen leaves on your Bluff Springs rental property are being raked up and properly disposed of. Leaving them all over the ground may result in safety issues while attracting pests and killing your landscape. But leaf disposal must be done in a manner that does not create additional liability. At Real Property Management Alamo, we can be the ones to take care of the more time-intensive tasks – including leaf disposal – freeing up your time so you can focus on building and growing your real estate investing business. Contact us online or call us at 210-600-5672 to learn more about how we can serve you.

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