June is National Safety Month. We’ve already written about reducing property crime and staying safe at showings. Here are some tips on creating a safe environment at your rental.
Screen your tenants
Completing a thorough screening on your tenants is a way to determine if a prospect will be a good fit for a rental property. Not only does this protect the landlord and property manager, but it also protects other tenants. If you have a multi-family housing unit, it’s important to complete the same screening process for all of your tenants. You may find something in a criminal background check that could be a risk factor for other tenants, so it’s important not to skip this step.
Fix potential home hazards
Small nuisances can quickly become hazardous over time. A loose floorboard or creaking stair could lead to a tenant’s injury. Routine maintenance can keep many of these issues from happening. Make sure that railings and banisters for staircases are secure, inside and outside the property. If your exterior staircases have the tendency to be slippery, you could consider investing in skid- resistance stair treads.
Communicate with tenants
If there are potential hazards that you aren’t able to get to right away, let your tenants know. Chances are, your renters have noticed the issue, so it’s better to address the issue. Let them know that they should contact you when new issues arise.
And don’t forget about a lead-based paint disclosure. Federal law requires that before signing a lease for housing built before 1978, renters must receive the following from your landlord:
- An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards, Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home (see below)
- Any known information concerning the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home or building.
- For multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation.
- An attachment to the contract, or language inserted in the contract, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that the landlord has complied with all notification requirements.
Maintain security measures
Keeping renters and rentals safe is easier when security measures are in place. If you have an alarm system, be sure to show your tenants how to use it. Make sure that there are locks on doors and windows and that they close tightly and securely. Motion-sensor lights placed strategically on the exterior of the property can prevent crime and injury to your tenants in places that are too dark to navigate safely.
Check HVAC and electrical systems
Make sure that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units are in working order. Check with the manufacturer to see what they recommend for routine maintenance. Unchecked systems can waste a lot of energy and increase the risk of a fire. The same goes with electrical systems.
Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five home fire fatalities occur in homes without a smoke detector. They recommend testing smoke detectors once a month and replacing them after ten years, or whenever they stop making a sound when tested. You can read more amount this at the website for the U.S. Fire Administration.
Carbon monoxide detectors should be also checked and the batteries should be replaced as needed.
Stay safe all year round with these tips. What other safety tips do you have for managing rental properties?