Whether you are a tenant or a landlord there are usually several things to be resolved when moving to a new property.
A desire to make a new place feel like home will inevitably lead to a few questions from a tenant.
And one very important one to consider is whether you can have a trampoline at a rental property.
I mean after all, it isn’t a permanent structure and can be put up and taken down with relative ease (in comparison to some things!).
So what exactly are the ‘rules’ around trampolines in these situations?
Let’s take a closer look.
Can You Have A Trampoline At A Rental Property?
The majority of landlords do not allow trampolines at their properties, or if they do they place stringent conditions around them. This is because trampolines carry a high injury risk, and even with the necessary legal waivers in place landlords can still be held responsible for any injuries that occur whilst they are being used. Trampolines can also void home insurance policies.
Trampolines and Injuries: The Statistics
Trampolines are great fun, but they are also, statistically speaking, quite dangerous.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated there were over 300,000 medically treated trampoline injuries in 2018, of which over 100,000 required visits to ER.
Just under a third of trampoline injuries that end up in a visit to ER, are fractures.
In fact, such is the risk they pose that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends trampolines are not used at home, in gym classes or on playgrounds.
Instead, they say they should only be used in supervised training programs for gymnastics, diving or other competitive sports.
Furthermore, they say only one person should be on a trampoline at a time.
You might be able to guess in which direction this is headed…
Trampolines: An Attractive Nuisance
As you can see trampolines are a high-risk liability for landlords and, as such, it is unlikely that a landlord will allow a tenant to have a trampoline on their property.
Trampolines are classified by insurance companies as what is called, an ‘attractive nuisance’.
Even if it is on private property, there is the potential for it to draw random children who will play on it without the tenant’s permission.
And if one of these children has an accident, even if they are effectively on the trampoline without permission and are trespassing, the likelihood is that it will be the landlord not the tenant (who put the trampoline there in the first place) who will be the subject of any legal challenge, no matter what kind of waivers might be in place.
Landowners are held financially responsible when an injury occurs on their land.
The bottom line is a landlord has a duty to keep a property safe for tenants and their guests.
They need to make sure the electrical system is safe and working, there are no loose or missing paving slabs, the stairs aren’t damaged and so on.
Many landlords will identify allowing a trampoline to be placed in the backyard of their property as a ‘dangerous addition’ due to the potential risks associated with them.
Even if a landlord has the best relationship with a tenant, they will still be worried about their liability should someone be hurt using the trampoline.
Waivers of Liability
Some landlords may allow a trampoline on their property if a waiver of liability is signed, or with a necessary addendum to the lease.
These are usually drafted by attorneys and document the risks a trampoline poses, along with absolving the landlord of any accountability for any injuries or damages that occur with the tenant agreeing to take full responsibility for any risks.
However, even when a waiver has been signed a landlord can still be held responsible for any injuries that occur as a result of using the trampoline.
In short these legal waivers provide a more solid defense should a lawsuit be brought, but they don’t stop a tenant from suing the landlord in the case of an accident.
So do legal waivers give the landlord extra protection in the case of a lawsuit? Yes.
But do they guarantee the landlord won’t be held responsible in some way? No, unfortunately they do not.
Even with a signed waiver in place allowing a trampoline on a property is still a risk for a landlord.
Trampolines and Insurance
Another reason a trampoline may not be allowed at a rental property is that your home insurance policy may not permit it.
As we have already outlined in this post, trampolines come with a high degree of liability, and insurance companies know that the presence of a trampoline on a property means an increased chance of them paying out for a claim.
If a trampoline doesn’t void a home insurance policy it is likely to put the premium up considerably.
If a trampoline is allowed then the tenant should always have a renter’s insurance policy with a rider that includes the trampoline.
As you can see from this post it is unlikely a trampoline will be allowed at a rental property for a number of reasons.
But the main one is that they are dangerous toys and they bring with them a high risk of an accident occurring.
And if an accident occurs, even with legal protection in place, there is nothing to stop a tenant from suing the landlord.
And whilst the possibility of the landlord being held responsible is lower with the necessary waivers in place, it isn’t reduced completely.
They could still be held liable and face a hefty payout.
Trampolines can even void a home insurance policy.
There is a reason trampolines are deemed as an ‘attractive nuisance in legal terms, and many landlords feel the risk of having a trampoline on a property far outweighs the need for them.