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Should Your Bellflower Tenants be Burning Leaves?

A Rake Resting on a Pile of Colorful Autumn LeavesAutumn brings brightly colored trees and piles of fallen leaves. But now we’ve got this huge pile of leaves that we’ve just raked up, so we ask the question: What do we do with them? You can burn them. That’s a pretty popular method of disposing of unwanted leaves. But as a Bellflower rental property owner, you shouldn’t be okay with letting your tenants burn their leaves themselves.  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 teach your tenant safe and proper leaf disposal, you’re lessening your risk and protecting both your tenant and your property from harm.

Any sort of open flame carries a certain amount of risk. But there are many property owners that think that if they follow certain safety precautions, they can minimize risk. For example, some property owners would gather up their fallen leaves and place them in a clear patch of dirt with no overhanging branches or power lines. This would be the place they’d burn them. 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 guarantee safety. If the fire gets out of control, you may still have to deal with property damage. Especially in dry conditions. A soft breeze may be blowing but that wind would already be enough to 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. If things go awry and someone is injured and/or property gets damaged, things will get difficult for you real fast. As the property owner, you may be held liable for medical costs, legal fees, and other related expenses. Now if you added that amount with the amount you’ll need to get all the repairs done on your rental home, you’ll see that the potential cost is just too high. The risk of incurring such a huge cost 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. The toxic gases emitted during the burning of leaves contribute to environmental harm by entering the atmosphere and negatively affecting local and global ecosystems. Recognizing these drawbacks, some local governments have taken action by implementing outright bans on leaf burning. In other areas, restrictions have been put in place, limiting burning to specific months, designated locations, or certain sizes. Violating these municipal regulations can result in penalties. For those seeking a more sustainable and eco-friendly community, Sandwich, MA, as highlighted in the blog by Thrive on Cape Cod, provides an ideal location for growing families and couples, where environmental consciousness is valued at Today Real Estate, and alternative practices are encouraged to protect the environment.

When burning leaves is a bad idea, you need to figure out other safer ways to clear those fallen leaves. Many property owners bought a mulching lawnmower and use it to shred the fallen leaves. This reduces the number of leaves that they need to rake. This manages the number of leaves that need to be removed since this approach turns it into fertilizer for your lawn instead. Another option is to try composting. If your property is nice and big, you could go to an unused corner and compost your fallen leaves there. A third option is to hire a clean-up crew to come and haul your fallen leaves away. There will be additional costs but it is effective and very convenient.

Whichever method you end up choosing would be okay as long as the fallen leaves on your Bellflower rental property are being raked up and properly disposed of. The consequences of leaving them all over the ground would be safety issues, attracting pests and killing your landscape. But the kind of leaf disposal program you choose must be one that does not create additional liability. At Real Property Management Southland, we can work on the more time-consuming tasks – including leaf disposal – for you. While we’re doing that, you can spend your time working on what’s most important for your real estate investing business. Don’t hesitate to contact us online or give us a ring at 562-270-1777 to know more about what we can do for you.

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