Author Topic: Would you allow a small trampoline?  (Read 1552 times)

thorbjorn88

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Would you allow a small trampoline?
« on: November 16, 2020, 01:26:54 PM »
My tenants want to put up this small trampoline for their kid. A full sized trampoline would be hard no but I don't see kids walking around our neighborhood looking for attractive nuisances and it's pretty small... Would you let tenants have this on your property?


therethere

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2020, 01:32:00 PM »
If it is not a permanent structure, and not governed by an HOA, what grounds could you use to not allow it? Is it a shared yard?

ixtap

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2020, 01:34:00 PM »
Do they have renters' insurance?

thorbjorn88

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2020, 01:44:25 PM »
From what I've read a trampoline is like an above ground pool. Even if I didn't put it up I'm potentially liable for injuries since it's on my property.

From https://www.chicagotribune.com/real-estate/ct-xpm-2010-04-04-ct-mre-0404-renting-trampoline-liability-20100404-story.html :
"unlike other types of portable items, such as patio furniture or potted plants, a trampoline can be dangerous. A landlord generally has a duty to keep the property reasonably safe for tenants, their guests and any other legitimate visitor (as well as any pint-size curious visitors too — more on that below). This is why the landlord must fix loose stairs, make sure vents work properly, keep the electrical system safe and so on.

You cannot absolve the landlord of these duties. In legalese, you cannot waive your right to a reasonably safe place to live.

For instance, you can't say, "No thanks," when the landlord insists on replacing that retro wood stove that has vents that are prone to clogging, risking carbon monoxide buildup, no matter how inconvenient or disappointing it might be to lose that stove. Nor can you say that you'll keep it and take your lumps if and when the stove causes a problem.

...
 
In light of these risks, your landlord has correctly identified your backyard trampoline as a "dangerous condition" on his property. He may be worried about his own liability should one of your children be hurt. It would take some cheek on your part, to be sure, but it's not entirely inconceivable that you could file a claim against the landlord's liability policy if your child is injured on the trampoline, asserting that the landlord bears some responsibility for the injury because he allowed the trampoline in the first place.

And suppose a child from the neighborhood discovers the trampoline, uses it without adequate supervision and gets hurt? Here, the landlord's chances of being liable go way up because he might be seen as permitting an "attractive nuisance," a dangerous condition, like an unfenced swimming pool, that is particularly likely to appeal to a child."

From what I've been able to ascertain it's rare that renters' insurance would cover liability for a trampoline.

Malcat

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2020, 01:47:51 PM »
Research thoroughly if/what liability you have with it being on your property.

If you hold any liability for it if a kid gets injured under any circumstances, then I personally wouldn't allow it. That's just me though, because I know a kid paralyzed on a trampoline.

Goldielocks

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2020, 06:57:14 PM »
Here, you would ask your tenants to get tenant insurance, with $1m or $2m liability (it's like an umbrella policy).  And you would have an email trail where they acknowledge that they are responsible for safety regarding it. Then if there is a claim against you, you counter claim against their insurance.

My tenant insurance, for example, not only covers my furniture and the property if I left a bathtub overflowing, but also my liability if my dog bites someone.

Duke03

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2020, 12:15:50 AM »
Take this with a grain of salt.  I was just shopping home insurance and the company I went with asked me 3 times if we had a trampoline.  3 times I had to explain to them I've never owned one.  They closed that conversation with the comment " we will look at satellite pictures of your back yard and will know if you own a trampoline"  I never knew insurance companies where so hard up for Trampolines..... Funny they didn't even ask if we owned a dog.  They only cared about if we had a fireplace how far we where to the nearest fire hydrant and if we owned a damn trampoline lol.

seanohara

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2020, 03:18:26 PM »
How controlling and uptight are you willing to be to your tenants? Could you afford to lose them and wait for new ones? If I had a landlord literally "lord" over me with these decisions I would be shopping for a new place immediately.

Mr. Green

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2020, 06:59:49 PM »
The last time we shopped for homeowners/renters insurance a trampoline was an instant deal breaker for multiple insurance companies. Definitely check on this.

Malcat

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2020, 07:41:41 PM »
How controlling and uptight are you willing to be to your tenants? Could you afford to lose them and wait for new ones? If I had a landlord literally "lord" over me with these decisions I would be shopping for a new place immediately.

I mean...it's a trampoline.

Some jurisdictions have official stances against any children playing on trampolines ever due to the enormous risk of permanent neurological injury. No kids on trampolines, period. 
Example of a Position Statement from Alberta Health Services
"Trampolines should not be used for recreational purposes at home (including cottages and temporary summer residences) by children or adolescents."

For the people above who described their insurers being concerned about trampolines, they may live in one of these jurisdictions, because once there's an official statement against them, it becomes difficult to impossible to insure against liability.

This isn't a swing set, it's a possibly uninsurable, personal liability for brain injuries in kids, over which the OP would have no supervision. That seems like a pretty reasonable risk to "lord" over.

Now, as I said before, if OP has zero liability, then it's up to their tenants to take on the risks and insurance burden of potentially maiming minors, but I would be surprised to find a jurisdiction that lets the property owner off the hook completely and puts all of the liability on the tenant.

thorbjorn88

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2020, 08:17:38 AM »
I'm waiting for my insurance company to get back to me on whether my liability insurance covers trampolines because as some have mentioned many insurance companies do not cover trampolines. 

But in response to being controlling and up tight every post I read on the bigger pockets forum was unanimous in saying that there was no way they would allow a trampoline on the property. I'm looking for a way not to be the guy who says no trampoline. I don't have any expectation of my tenants suing me, it would take some gal, but according to laws about "attractive nuisances" the property owner is responsible for injuries to children who are "lured" onto the property by something fun and dangerous like a trampoline or pool. So if a neighbor kid hops the fence jumps on their trampoline lands weird and is paralyzed for life I could be liable. That's why I'm being uptight about this.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2020, 09:02:41 AM »
But in response to being controlling and up tight every post I read on the bigger pockets forum was unanimous in saying that there was no way they would allow a trampoline on the property. I'm looking for a way not to be the guy who says no trampoline.
I'd suggest you explain the insurance issues to your tenant. Let them know how much extra in insurance you'll need to pay if there is trampoline. (Even if your insurance covers it, you may need to up your limits). If the tenants are willing to pay the difference in insurance (without markup) then they can put in the trampoline.

therethere

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2020, 09:06:48 AM »
No one is saying a trampoline is a good idea. But as a renter, I'm still stuck on a landlord making up rules (in their interest) as they go along. Please tell me what clause in the lease you are using to enforce a trampoline ban? Because unless it is already written in, I don't see how you can make up the rules after the fact. If you're going the nuisance route, you will need to somehow explain that to the tenant.

Do you require rental insurance? Can't you just require they maintain rental insurance that covers the trampoline? Then their lease is voided if they can't maintain the proper insurance.

Car Jack

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2020, 01:13:15 PM »
Wait for your insurance company's response.  If they say it will increase your rental home insurance $10 a month and your umbrella $30 a month, pass that on to the tenant and require a lease re-write to specifically include the trampoline along with a $40 per month increase to cover your insurance cost and require that their rental insurance specifically cover the trampoline. 

I just put in place holder numbers.  If it's only $1 a month more, then just let it go.  If it's $100 a month or "we don't insure trampolines, you'll be cancelled", then pass that info along with a "no".


PDXTabs

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2020, 01:43:44 PM »
Out of curiosity, can you stop them? That is, do you happen to have language in your lease forbidding trampolines?

thorbjorn88

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2020, 02:11:50 PM »
I don't have language in the lease but we have a good relationship and they've said they wouldn't put it up if it would cause a problem with the insurance and they weren't very upset. So I'll just go off of what the insurance company says. 

waltworks

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2020, 04:07:51 PM »
I wonder if our insurance company will figure out we have a giant one in the backyard...

It's funny, I went and read some of the articles about trampoline safety and they make it seem like a broken arm is the end of the world and interview pediatricians who seriously warn about sprained ankles. WTF?

I could see if you had no net on it (which I never see) and fell on your head on the ground or something, that's a problem, I guess.

Malcat

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2020, 07:16:14 PM »
I wonder if our insurance company will figure out we have a giant one in the backyard...

It's funny, I went and read some of the articles about trampoline safety and they make it seem like a broken arm is the end of the world and interview pediatricians who seriously warn about sprained ankles. WTF?

I could see if you had no net on it (which I never see) and fell on your head on the ground or something, that's a problem, I guess.

Interesting, I don't know who "they" are, but the position statements from governments I've read don't make a huge deal about less severe injuries, and it's the stats on neurological injuries that are most concerning.

They're dangerous enough that multiple levels of government here have official statements against them. Alberta public health, which I quoted above is all good with skateboarding, rollerblading, and scooters and just advises proper safety equipment and supervision. Trampolines? They're like "fuck no".

Also, apparently there's no evidence that nets and padding have had any impact on the incidence of severity of injuries. Most severe head injuries seem to occur from children smacking into each other.

Our federal government doesn't go so far as to have statements against them for children period, but they do advise that if a child is to use one, that they use it alone and under the supervision of no fewer than 4 adult spotters.

waltworks

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2020, 08:18:50 PM »
"They" referred to the articles I read. Sorry if that wasn't clear. It was poorly written on my part.

Is there somewhere with actual numbers? Basically every yard in this town has a trampoline (and lots of kids own trampoline skis, which are an actual thing) but I've never even heard of anyone getting hurt badly on the tramp. Hurt on the actual ski hill, yes...

I guess I could see really little kids being silly banging heads? Wouldn't it be impossible to have bouncy castles at birthday parties too if that was the case though?

Clearly my experience isn't the norm, or people/insurance companies wouldn't be so strongly against them.

-W

chemistk

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2020, 06:02:08 AM »
I'll fess up - we have a small (6' round, netted) trampoline in our basement. We did not disclose this to our landlord/the property management company he uses, but we've also had multiple repairmen who contract for the PMC in the basement and while I expect that none of them are going to 'tattle' on us, I also imagine that they're obligated to communicate gross negligence to the PMC/landlord if they find it.

Our renter's policy does not explicitly deny coverage for trampolines, nor do they require disclosure. Our lease does not explicitly deny trampolines. Per our lease agreement, we are required to carry $500k in personal liability coverage.

If anything, the risks (and we are aware of them) have been miniscule compared to the benefit. Our kids bounce off the walls. From 5:45AM - 7:30PM they have more energy than controlled outlets can provide them. Our backyard and frontyard are dangerous even in the summer, and in the winter (or during lockdown) it's a complete nonstarter to have the kids outside without direct supervision. We got the trampoline as an outlet for the enormous amounts of energy that our kids seem to generate out of thin air and it works very well.

I am not going to enter this thread and claim, anecdotally, that our experience shows that trampolines are safe. Like I said, we are aware of the risks. I am not advocating a trampoline for those who have reservations or for situations where it might cause problems with insurance.

I pulled these statistics from the company we have Renters' through (Nationwide):

Quote
Most trips to the hospital emergency rooms result from jumpers colliding, falling off the trampoline or stunts.
The most common areas of injury are:
Legs and feet: 40%
Arms or hands: 29%
Head, face or neck: 20%
Shoulder or trunk: 10%
About 246,875 medically-treated trampoline injuries occur annually in the United States. 75% of these injuries occur in children 14 or younger.
Children under 6 were treated for about 15% of trampoline injuries in hospital emergency rooms.
Improper use of a trampoline can result in death. Most victims are teenagers, ages 12 to 19. Falls from the trampoline were the most frequent cause of death, followed by landing on the neck while attempting somersaults.



LaineyAZ

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2020, 07:13:34 AM »
I have almost this same trampoline on my back patio.  It's used by my two pre-school granddaughters for the 2 days/week they are here.  It hadn't occurred to me that it might be an insurance issue, but the instructions clearly state that there is a weight limit, and also only one child can be using it at a time.  So if the main risk is the head injury from 2 little kids bashing into each other, that's not going to happen if you just follow their instructions.

I also second the real need for an energy outlet for active younger kids during a time when playgrounds are closed and/or weather is not permitting other normal outdoor kid activities.

Plus, I'd still say there's a big difference between the mini-trampoline with a net that's pictured, and a regular larger size trampoline with no net.  I'm betting insurance companies are only picturing the large kind and just issuing a blanket "no trampoline" policy.

Malcat

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2020, 07:25:42 AM »
"They" referred to the articles I read. Sorry if that wasn't clear. It was poorly written on my part.

Is there somewhere with actual numbers? Basically every yard in this town has a trampoline (and lots of kids own trampoline skis, which are an actual thing) but I've never even heard of anyone getting hurt badly on the tramp. Hurt on the actual ski hill, yes...

I guess I could see really little kids being silly banging heads? Wouldn't it be impossible to have bouncy castles at birthday parties too if that was the case though?

Clearly my experience isn't the norm, or people/insurance companies wouldn't be so strongly against them.

-W

I learned about trampolines in a neuro unit in a med school program. I don't remember the exact numbers, but they were substantially higher than all other childhood play risks for permanent traumatic brain injury.

I just quickly googled and saw that 1 in 200 trampoline injuries results in permanent brain damage. Considering the rate of injury is so high, that's a terrifying number to me.

These governments and medical agencies putting out statements against them don't do so easily or casually because someone in the department is uptight about trampolines. They're neurotic as hell about official position statements.

As I said before, Alberta Public Health essentially says about skateboards "m'eh, just be careful", and skateboards are notorious in ER units for injuries. So when they're like "fuck no" about trampolines, that's based on some gnarly stats about dead or brain damaged kids.

Oh, and I do personally know two severely injured kids from trampoline accidents. One paralyzed, and he didn't fall off the trampoline. He did a flip and landed on his head and snapped his neck.

Individual families can do whatever they want, if they are willing to take the risk, that's their right, I'm not going to judge. But I would never be willing to take on any degree of liability for one as a property owner.

Villanelle

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2020, 10:30:14 AM »
"They" referred to the articles I read. Sorry if that wasn't clear. It was poorly written on my part.

Is there somewhere with actual numbers? Basically every yard in this town has a trampoline (and lots of kids own trampoline skis, which are an actual thing) but I've never even heard of anyone getting hurt badly on the tramp. Hurt on the actual ski hill, yes...

I guess I could see really little kids being silly banging heads? Wouldn't it be impossible to have bouncy castles at birthday parties too if that was the case though?

Clearly my experience isn't the norm, or people/insurance companies wouldn't be so strongly against them.

-W

My coroner sister strongly advises against bouncy houses.  People do die in them, and I'm sure more people get seriously injured (not just sprained ankle-level). 

Malcat

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2020, 11:10:22 AM »
"They" referred to the articles I read. Sorry if that wasn't clear. It was poorly written on my part.

Is there somewhere with actual numbers? Basically every yard in this town has a trampoline (and lots of kids own trampoline skis, which are an actual thing) but I've never even heard of anyone getting hurt badly on the tramp. Hurt on the actual ski hill, yes...

I guess I could see really little kids being silly banging heads? Wouldn't it be impossible to have bouncy castles at birthday parties too if that was the case though?

Clearly my experience isn't the norm, or people/insurance companies wouldn't be so strongly against them.

-W

My coroner sister strongly advises against bouncy houses.  People do die in them, and I'm sure more people get seriously injured (not just sprained ankle-level).

Also, the velocity of child-to-child impact is much higher on a trampoline than a bouncy house, but yeah, of course there's bouncy house injury risk, which is why there's specific insurance for bouncy houses, not just general business liability.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2020, 02:45:18 PM »
My coroner sister strongly advises against bouncy houses.  People do die in them, and I'm sure more people get seriously injured (not just sprained ankle-level).
While some people have died on moon bounces, the numbers are really low: about one every three years.

Quote
CPSC staff is aware of 12 deaths involving inflatable amusements from January 2003 through December 2013. Four involved a moon bounce-style inflatable amusement; seven involved a non-moon-bounce inflatable; and one involved an unspecified inflatable amusement. The four deadly incidents linked to moon bounce-style inflatables were associated with head and neck injuries (2), suffocation (1), and drowning (1). In 2009, a 50-year-old male was doing flips on bounce equipment. He fell backward and suffered fatal head and neck injuries. In 2010, a 33-year-old female landed on her head and neck when jumping in a bounce house. In another deadly incident in 2010, a 2-year-old male suffocated in an inflatable bounce house after a 3- year-old girl unplugged the motor attached to the inflatable. In 2012, an 11-year-old male fell into a lake while playing in an inflatable bounce house that was offshore. There were five deaths involving inflatable slides. In 2003, a 15-year-old male fell from an inflatable slide at a high school wellness event. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and died 4 days later. The slide was part of a larger obstacle course inflatable amusement. In 2004, an 18- year-old male fell from an inflatable slide at a high school prom party. He sustained a closedhead injury. There was no indication that the slide was part of a larger inflatable amusement. In 2008, a 28-year-old female was doing somersaults on an inflatable slide when she suffered a fatal blunt traumatic cervical spine injury. In 2010, a 2-year-old male was found floating face down in an in-ground swimming pool. It is believed that he fell down from an inflatable slide to the swimming pool. One more fatal incident in 2010 involving an inflatable slide occurred when a 54-year-old male was struck by the large inflatable slide in a public place. The victim died of a pulmonary embolism.

One of the deaths involved an inflatable rock climbing wall. In 2005, a 24-year-old female fell 15 to 20 feet from an inflatable rock climbing wall at a music festival. Her legs and backside reportedly hit the inflatable base of the inflatable amusement, but then her upper body fell backand her head hit the surrounding pavement.

One death involved an inflatable “king of the hill” amusement. The amusement consisted of a rounded, inflated hill, surrounded by an inflated fence. Two adults who were playing in the amusement fell out of it through a gap in the surrounding inflated fence. They struck a 3-yearold male who was standing near the amusement, knocking him down. The child’s head struck the floor, and he died as a result of his injuries.

The death that involved an unspecified inflatable amusement occurred in 2010. A 5-year-old male hit his head on concrete after falling from the unspecified inflatable amusement.
https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Inflatable_Amusements_Deaths_and_Injuries_2015.pdf

waltworks

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2020, 02:58:31 PM »
Maybe I'll make my kids wear helmets on the trampoline...

I did find the CPSC numbers. Looks like about 2 deaths a year (for comparison, skateboarding is about 40, though obviously without knowing how much time people are doing the activity that's kinda meaningless):
https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/085%20Trampoline%20Safety.pdf
https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/pdfs/tramp00.pdf

Given that they also estimate 3 million backyard trampolines (as of the 90s, second link - I'd assume that number is higher now), that seems much less risky than I thought. But it's so hard to say...100,000 visits to the ER is nothing to sneeze at, though since 95% of those didn't end up in the hospital, that's 5,000 actual serious injuries. Still not nothing.

Seriously, thanks for the info, guys. It's winter here so no bouncing for a bit anyway, but I've got some thinking to do.

-W
« Last Edit: November 19, 2020, 03:08:44 PM by waltworks »

PhishFire

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2020, 03:56:14 PM »
No way... seems like it could be liability issue. Just say you checked with your insurance company and they will drop your insurance if one is on the property.

Makes you look like a nice person for asking and makes the insurance company they bad guy.

Goldielocks

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Re: Would you allow a small trampoline?
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2020, 01:39:07 PM »
As a renter in CA, I put a med. sized trampoline in the back yard for my 5 year old.  I did not tell the landlord, but I did have to declare it on my tenant's insurance, and pay a premium.

I believe that you can transfer this risk to the renter, if you require that they get insurance naming a trampoline, and maintain coverage, and you actually inspect / follow up to ensure the insurance is valid.   

You can ask your insurance company how it would work.   I presume you also carry house / umbrella liability for yourself, too, as well as insurance on the structure of the property being rented, which would compliment the tenant insurance.