Who decides when stuff on the balcony, patio or deck becomes just too much junk and requires action? Where to draw the line is this week’s question for veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi.

Dear Landlord Hank: How Much Is Too Much Junk On The Balcony And The Deck?

We have tenants always leaving stuff out on the balcony and the back deck. There are grills, bags of charcoal, baby strollers, lawn chairs, garbage bags, kid play houses, dog houses, bird houses, etc.

It makes the place look junky. How much leeway do you give tenants on what is “ok” and what is “too much junk?” Where do you draw the line?

– Landlord Melanie

Dear Landlady Melanie:

I know exactly what you mean.

The best looking, newest property in town can give a very poor impression, if the exterior appearance is not kept clean and neat.

I like to draw the line clearly with tenants, in writing, up front, when they see the property for the first time.

I tell them they have a balcony or patio of their own but it can only be used for chairs and a table. No storage, bikes, etc. and must be kept clean and neat at all times.

This is all clearly spelled out in my “Resident’s Guide” and is part of the lease.

If the resident violates this lease provision, then resident receives a warning letter, with a time frame, to cure this problem.

Dear Landlord Hank: How Much Is Too Much Junk On The Balcony, Patio, Deck?

As landlords and owners, we spend a lot of money to keep our properties looking good.

We do landscape maintenance, painting of the buildings, get someone to sweep or vacuum hallways and pick up trash, etc. (in larger buildings or complexes), so other residents don’t want to look at someone else’s junk.

I ‘m ok with a few chairs and a table, maybe a plant or two, but that’s about it.

Sincerely,

Hank Rossi

Dear Landlord Hank: How Much Is Too Much Junk On The Balcony, Patio, Deck?

Landlord Hank at work on one of his properties.

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