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Should Your Spanish Springs Tenants be Burning Leaves?

A Rake Resting on a Pile of Colorful Autumn LeavesAutumn brings brightly colored trees and piles of fallen leaves. Yes, piles of fallen leaves that we just raked up. This gives rise to the question of what to do with them. You can burn the unwanted leaves. That seems to be a popular disposal method. But as a Spanish Springs rental property owner, you shouldn’t permit your tenants to be the ones to burn the leaves. While it is true that burning the leaves will help dispose of them quickly, it is also true that handling an open flame is a dangerous task. The risk you expose yourself to is not worth the convenience. However, if you see to it that your tenant knows about safe and proper leaf disposal, you’ll be saving yourself from a lot of risks. Educating them will help protect them and your property from harm.

Open flame, no matter what sort, carries a certain amount of risk. But there are a lot of property owners that believe they can minimize the risks by following certain safety precautions. For example, some property owners would burn their fallen leaves on a clear patch of dirt with no overhanging branches or power lines. Then they’ll decide on 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 aren’t the same thing as guarantees. You may still get property damage if the fire gets out of control. Especially in dry conditions, even just a tiny gust of wind can carry sparks into dry foliage, sparking dry grasses and other materials that are often abundant during the fall. Open flames may also harm your tenants, their pets, or even other people nearby. And the risk gets even bigger if the fire grows beyond your property boundaries. In the unfortunate event that injury or property damage does happen, then you’ll be in a tough spot. As the property owner, you may be held liable for medical costs, legal fees, and other related expenses. In addition to those costs, you’ll also need to add the expense of repairs that you’ll have to do to your rental house. This total is how much you stand to lose and should strongly discourage you from permitting leaf burning as a disposal method.

These risks alone already provide a compelling reason but there are still other reasons why you should 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. Learning about the drawbacks of burning leaves, some local governments have banned leaf burning outright. Others haven’t gone as far as banning them but limit 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. Many property owners shred them with a mulching lawnmower. This greatly reduces the number of fallen leaves they need to rake. Doing this helps manage the number of leaves that need to be removed since this method turns the leaves into fertilizer for your lawn instead. The next option is composting. If you’ve got a property that is large enough, you should think about it. Select an unused corner away from the house and compost your fallen leaves there. A third option is to hire a clean-up crew to come and haul your fallen leaves away. This is quite efficient but there will be some additional costs.

No matter how you get it done, it’s important to make sure that the fallen leaves on your Spanish Springs rental property are being raked up and properly disposed of. Because if you don’t, there will be safety issues and you’ll be attracting pests and killing your landscape. You should avoid leaving fallen leaves all over the ground. However, the leaf disposal method you choose must not create additional liability. At Real Property Management Corazon, we can deal with the more time-consuming tasks – including leaf disposal – allowing you to spend more time on things that matter more, like building and developing your real estate investing business. Contact us online or call us at 775-826-1414 to learn more about how we can serve you.

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