Home safety is a primary need to consider when it comes to deciding on a rental home. Landlords are responsible in protecting tenants from accidents that may occur in the rental unit. Colorado state laws further ensure the security of renters by enforcing building safety, health and habitability codes for rental properties.
Smart landlords focus on performing frequent safety inspections. They're not doing it simply to comply with laws, but also to keep tenants safe. Any unfortunate incidents equate to stress and big financial expenses. So, it's imperative to be safety conscious.
Below are important areas of safety to check on while conducting safety inspections:
1. Ensure functioning of fire alarms and smoke detectors.
Set a scheduled period to conduct a fire drill. This lets you know whether the fire alarms work. It's also customary to have working smoke detectors so when a fire breaks out, it can easily signal the tenant to exit the premises quickly. Therefore, make sure to thoroughly check the functioning of the rental's smoke detectors.
2. Check for stair safety.
A lot of injuries result from stairway falls. It's best to follow precautionary measures by always inspecting the condition of the stairs in your rental. If repairs are needed, have them done right away.
People can trip when there are cracks and uneven areas. Make sure there is an anti-slip material or coating. Additionally, good lighting contributes to visible stairway steps and less accidents.
3. Prioritize outdoor railing safety.
Specific heights of the railings need to follow the standard. Aside from that, it's important to look at the material used for the railings. Check for deterioration and railing fasteners.
It's essential that balcony railings are inspected to know if they can withstand a strong force. Replace flimsy wooden railings with tougher material to avoid accidents.
4. Focus on door security.
Most tenants fear home break-ins and one of the ways to deter burglars is to make sure the exterior doors are very secure. Use sturdy deadbolts and locks. When tenants move out, make sure to re-key to safeguard against possible entries of people who still have copies of the rental key. Another way to make this easier is to invest in electronic locks and install alarms.
5. Review paint safety.
Rentals constructed prior to 1978 are required to be disclosed for lead-based paint. This toxic material can be hazardous to one's health.
If a tenant has young kids who accidentally ingest chipped paints that contain lead, it can result in developmental issues. Make sure to test the paint in your walls for lead substance. If lead is found, you can seek expert solutions to resolve it.
6. Determine pest infestation.
As one of the top tenant complaints, pests can affect habitability issues. Aside from being unhygienic, they can bring diseases. As a landlord, regular cleaning and hiring exterminators help reduce the incident of pest infestation. However, if the pest-attracting, filthy space is the result of a tenant's continously neglectful behavior, you can choose not to renew the lease.
7. Pay attention to the maintenance of appliances.
Appliances can lead to fire and water damage for the rental property. It's important to check them every now and then. Make sure the wires are in good condition.
Clean the vents in the dryer. Check for leaks in the water heaters. Make sure your washing machine is running smoothly.
8. Electrical installations
Improper electrical installation can be dangerous. It can cause fire and electric shocks. Hire a professional electrician to review the electrical panels, check for faulty wirings and look at electric outlets.
Sometimes, the overloading of circuits can occur, causing a fire that could have been prevented. Also, make sure you're updated with regulations.
9. Walls, floors and ceilings
It's important to make sure that the floor surface is non-slip to prevent injuries. Children are prone to accidents, given their nature to run around. If the flooring is uneven, schedule a foundation inspection.
For walls, ensure that there are no dangerous cracks and water damage. Ceilings must follow the required height for proper insulation whatever the weather.
10. Heating systems
If you want to keep away from fires, regularly inspect the boiler to make sure it's in proper order. If there are problems, heating will be poor and the distribution of heat will be inefficient.
Aside from that, it's also inconvenient to tenants when heaters break down, especially during the winter. The running water will be cold and comfort is sacrificed. This violates the quiet enjoyment right of the tenant.
Problems in plumbing can result in an unpleasant smell, water damage and unsanitary conditions. This affects the health of the tenant, causing them to move out or withhold the rent payment. Avoid this inconvenience by checking the plumbing systems regularly.
12. Don't forget to focus on securing windows.
Aside from doors, windows must have proper latches that protect tenants from the outside temperature. Burglars also test windows when it's hard to enter through the doors.
So, make sure the windows are made of sturdy material such as tempered glass and solid locks.
13. Check for building foundation.
Contact a foundation specialist to learn about the stability of your rental home, especially if it was built a long time ago. The materials often need to be replaced and renovations to be done. The older the building, the more prone to foundation hazard as well.
Safety is always paramount, so never miss adhering to safety standards. This is one of the ways to keep renters happy. Excellent property maintenance leads to having long-term renters.
Encourage your tenants to report property maintenance issues so you can address these requests immediately. Additionally, respond promptly to any property concern. It will strengthen your landlord-tenant relationship.
Reviewing your rental property's safety standards consistently will give you peace of mind. It protects your wallet and keeps you away from potential lawsuits. Therefore, make sure you comply with safety requirements in your rental unit.
Another way to reserve your worries is to hire a property management company to manage your rental space. You'll feel relaxed knowing that safety inspections are part of managing your real estate investment. Contact us, McGuire Property Management, today!