Owning a rental property is a significant investment and time commitment, so how do you prepare the property to make it as marketable as possible for potential tenants and then keep them long-term to avoid costly turnovers and vacancies? One significant factor is fencing on the property. Read on below to see our recommendations for fencing a rental property.
Fencing for pets
If you offer a pet-friendly rental property, fencing is a must. If your tenants can have pets but don’t have an outdoor area to let them off leash, it will be a negative aspect of the property and contribute to turnover.
There are many products to accomplish fencing your property for pets, which will depend on a few factors. One factor to consider is the natural privacy of the property. If the property is large and surrounded by trees with neighbors spread out, choose more economical options such as chain link.
Chain link typically doesn’t offer any privacy, but it is durable and economical to install in large areas that don’t require any privacy from the fence. A second factor to consider is that if you need privacy due to close neighbors and there is no existing natural privacy (trees, shrubs, etc.), you may opt for a 6’ high wood or vinyl privacy fence. This way, your tenants can let their dogs out, and you don’t have to worry about the dogs barking or disrupting the neighbors, as they won’t be able to see them through the privacy fence.
A third and most important factor is if there is an HOA. HOAs will have architectural review boards and guidelines with what types of fences can be installed, locations on the property, gate sizes, etc. Getting a copy of the guidelines and receiving HOA approval before installing any fence on your property overseen by an HOA is essential.
One final consideration is the size of the pet. Usually, standard aluminum fences (as shown in the above photo) have almost 4” spacing between the vertical pickets. If you have tenants with smaller pets that can fit through those openings, you may want to consider putting in a puppy picket panel aluminum fence. You can see in the photo it has closer spacing at the bottom, so smaller breeds, such as a chihuahua, can’t escape through the 4” gap between the vertical pickets.
Fencing for privacy
Privacy fencing for rental properties can differ between obtaining long-term tenants and having constant turnovers and vacancies. If tenants have a private area in the backyard of your rental property, it can make a smaller house feel much larger with a private, usable yard.
Tenants can envision themselves enjoying their morning coffee, barbequing with friends, celebrating a birthday, and other joyous events with a private backyard. It will make your property seem larger, having personal useable indoor and outdoor space for little investment.
The two main privacy fences installed in southwest Florida are wood and vinyl. Wood fences need much more maintenance. After installation, they should be stained, and because it’s a natural product, they will immediately start wearing out in the elements. If properly installed in reasonable soil and weather conditions, wood fencing can last 15-20 years.
Vinyl fencing can be installed in the standard white or tan color and custom wood grain colors with an embossed wood grain texture. Basic wood fences are usually slightly cheaper to install but take a larger investment in maintenance. Vinyl fences are a little more to install, but in reasonable soil and weather conditions, they should last 25 years.
Vinyl fences have no gaps; wood fences can develop gaps in the fence over time as the wood dries out and “shrinks.” Vinyl fences come with a material warranty, and wood fences have no material warranties, usually just workmanship warranties.
Decorative picket fencing for curb appeal
If your rental property is in a more urban or downtown area with a lot of foot traffic around the property, consider a picket fence in the front yard for curb appeal and as a property marker. Decorative picket fences can give guests an inviting feel and keep foot traffic from letting pets soil the property or strangers from wandering into the yard.
This can help tenants feel safer on your property. Decorative picket fences can also add equity in the form of resale value to your investment. If there isn’t much landscaping, a picket fence can be the difference in adding dimension and curb appeal.
This article from Freedom Fence helps you decide to fence your rental property more easily!