A rental property that’s rife with safety issues can prove problematic in a number of ways. Not only does the presence of such issues compromise the safety of your residents, it also stands to make the property less attractive to prospective tenants and potentially land you in legal trouble. That being the case, every property owner needs to be mindful of safety issues with their respective rentals. Fortunately, provided you’re willing to stay on top of things, addressing safety issues may not be as difficult as you think.
Have the Property Inspected on a Regular Basis
Having the property inspected by a certified professional on a regular basis can help ensure that potential safety issues are caught and dealt with before they have a chance to become pressing problems. Regular inspections can also help you keep the property up to code and remain abreast of any necessary repairs or renovations. Fortunately, cataloging and monitoring code violations is fairly easy in places that utilize convenient municipal software.
Provide Tenants with Advanced Notice
While small-scale renovations may not have much of an impact on tenants’ usual routines, larger renovations stand to cause them considerable inconvenience. This is particularly true in the case of renovations to areas that receive a lot of foot traffic, like lobbies, laundry rooms and parking lots. Renovations of this nature often require renters to make temporary adjustments, and the more advanced notice they receive, the better. With this in mind, make sure to alert tenants of forthcoming renovations as far in advance as possible. Although they’re still likely to experience some level of inconvenience, advanced notice will ensure that they have time to properly prepare.
In addition to providing advanced notice, you should avoid sharing projected completion dates that you’re unsure of. Even if a contractor provides you with a completion date at the outset of the project, this should be regarded as an estimate instead of a rock-solid commitment. Throughout the course of their work, contractors can experience any number of issues that cause completion dates to be pushed back. So, rather than get tenants’ hopes up and risk drawing their ire, abstain from providing them with a completion date unless you’re absolutely certain of its authenticity.
Ensure That Work Areas Are Properly Secured
All tenants should be aware that work areas are off-limits. In addition to presenting a host of potential safety issues, unsecured work areas are popular targets for thieves. Not only should you and your contractors make a point of securing work areas before leaving them unattended, you should put up signage stating that residents must keep a safe distance from any work areas, active or otherwise. For example, if any of your tenants’ children were to find their way into an unattended work area, the resultant injuries, property damage and legal consequences would likely be severe.
Stay on Top of Maintenance Going Forward
Many large safety issues begin life as relatively minor maintenance issues. Unsurprisingly, when the latter is addressed in a timely manner, the former can often be staved off. So, if your current approach to maintenance is at all lacking, it’s time to tighten things up and regard property upkeep with due importance.
Hiring knowledgeable, dependable maintenance personnel is arguably the most effective way to stop major safety issues in their tracks. Full-time personnel are particularly essential to the upkeep of large multi-family properties, like apartment buildings and condo complexes. No matter how new a property is, maintenance issues are bound to spring up on a regular basis, particularly if the property in question houses dozens – or even hundreds – of units.
By extension, landlords who oversee larger properties and/or own multiple properties can benefit from working with highly-rated property managers and property management companies. This can prove particularly helpful for landlords who are pressed for bandwidth or who have day jobs that are unrelated to their property-based responsibilities.
It’s in every landlord’s best interest to address safety issues with rental properties in a timely manner. The longer certain issues go unaddressed, the more likely they are to compromise the well-being of tenants and the livability of a property. So, if safety isn’t currently among your top priorities, this needs to change immediately. Equipping yourself with the pointers outlined above can help ensure that your rental property remains out of harm’s way and profitable for the foreseeable future.