As a landlord, you must adhere to specific legal guidelines. You are responsible for keeping your tenants' apartments livable and secure. The rules differ from state to state, but there is a certain general measure that can be taken to ensure basic adherence to habitability laws.
Routine inspections are advised to see whether your rental satisfies the safety requirements. Preventive maintenance can also shield your tenants from injury while simultaneously averting a number of issues with your rental. It can reduce typical wear and tear and maintain your tenants' satisfaction.
In this article, Schambs Property Management aims to assist property owners in determining whether their rental meets safety standards.
Manage the Appliances
The risk of damage and overheating with appliances is high, especially the older they are. This is because as the equipment is used over time, it can experience normal wear and tear. Therefore, maintaining them for safety is important.
It's a good idea to do an inventory of your appliances and check to see if they need to be replaced with more energy-efficient ones. When looking to get replacements, remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to appliances. Therefore, the longer it lasts, the higher the quality.
Additionally, higher-quality devices need less maintenance. It’s best to compare products on the market and look up consumer reviews to ensure that your investing in the right appliance.
Check Smoke Detectors
It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with and abide by the smoke alarm rules in your state or municipality. The locations of smoke detectors are typically specified by state or local legislation, and fire prevention authorities demand that the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors be in operational condition.
Press the test button on each alarm in your rentals to ensure that it’s activated. If a tenant complains that their smoke alarm is making chirping noises, act quickly because this indicates that the battery is low and the smoke alarm might not work in an emergency.
It’s also advised that property owners install combined devices to avoid having to monitor carbon monoxide and smoke alarms separately.
Inspect the Rentals Plumbing
Plumbing issues such as leaks, clogged toilets, and even flooding are common problems that landlords must deal with. Additionally, in particular regions with a colder climate or extreme weather, pipes might burst.
The major risk associated with plumbing problems is the potential for water damage, which can be costly to mitigate. Water leakages bring on numerous additional issues including the presence of mold which can form in an area that is constantly exposed to moisture and humidity.
Drainage systems should be regularly cleaned. Clearing away blockages to allow water to flow properly is vital. You should particularly double your efforts in the autumn and during the rainy season when gutter clogging is a common occurrence due to the large number of leaves being carried by wind and rain going into drainage systems.
Installing waterproof ventilated pipes can help reduce the number of broken pipes. Even though high-quality materials cost more upfront, you will ultimately save money by reducing the need for repairs. It will also spare you from having to pay a very high-water bill.
Enhance Home Security Systems
As a landlord, it’s your duty to ensure your tenants have safe housing. Make sure your house is secure before renting it out. A door that has a deadbolt and a locking lockset is the most secure.
Adding a combination of electronic locks and security systems to the doors and windows will increase security even further. Additionally, you should think about installing cameras and motion sensor lights.
Install GFI Outlets
The National Electrical Code mandates ground fault interrupting (GFI) outlets, and over time, it has enlarged the list of places where GFIs should be installed. These areas include any outdoor space, the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry facilities.
The lack of these safety features in many older rentals raises the danger of shocks and fires. There is a risk that insurance won't cover the damage if a non-GRI outlet overheats and catches fire anywhere where a GFI is required by law.
As a landlord, you are not required to retrofit every non-GFI outlet in a bathroom or kitchen. You can install the circuit on the first outlet or simply put a GFI breaker in the main panel. If it’s wired correctly, it will protect every outlet further down the line from tripping anytime one of the outlets senses a ground fault.
Your rental home will remain compliant with safety regulations if you install GFI outlets.
Address Pest Infestation
A pest infestation may endanger the health and safety of your tenant at your rental property. When it comes to pest infestation, both the landlord and tenants take the responsibility of getting rid of the pests depending on who caused the pest infestation.
Your tenant, for instance, may create conditions in their apartments that encourage the presence of pests. This can happen by not promptly emptying the trash cans or by leaving food lying around. In such circumstances, your tenant's responsibility is to take care of the problem.
On the other hand, if a natural occurrence brought on the infestation, you are now responsible for it. For instance, if your renter complains of mice and the rental property is close to a grassy field. You will have to plan and pay for the solutions.
Safety is one of the most important aspects of renting out a home. Ensure your rental property is frequently inspected and complies with all applicable local and state safety regulations. You should also speak to your tenants to ensure their requirements are being addressed. This will lessen vacancy rates and keep your home in good shape.
If you would like help managing your rentals turn to the team at Schambs Property Management. Contact us today to learn more about our property management services!