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Rental Safety Standards to Minimize Risk

Kempner Tenant Climbing Dangerously Icy Steps in WinterAs a Kempner rental property owner, ensuring your property meets appropriate rental safety standards is a serious responsibility. While a few standards may change from state to state or even city to city, there are a number of standards that all rental property owners should adhere to. According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, housing codes are created to set a minimum standard for landlords and tenants. Instead of being an inconvenience, these standards can be a helpful guide as you prepare your rental home for quality tenants. By bringing your property up to par on the following six things, you can easily protect your tenants and your property values – as well as your bank account.

Stairs and Railings

Slips and falls are a common concern and can likely cause your tenant and their visitors’ significant physical injury. Minimize risk by keeping all stairs and railings on the property in good condition. Replace and refinish wooden stairs regularly, and remember to clear concrete stairs of debris, ice, and other hazards. It’s also a brilliant idea to paint stairs with a non-slip coating to shield them from getting slippery in wet weather. Railings must be at least 42 inches high and should not move or wobble easily. Be certain to replace missing railings and tighten loose fasteners when you notice a problem.

Smoke Detectors

In many states, landlords are required by law to have functional smoke detectors in their rental property. However, even if it wasn’t necessary, it’s an important safety measure that all landlords should observe. Check your smoke alarms every year and replace weak or dead batteries immediately. It’s also necessary to check if your state requires carbon monoxide detectors besides smoke detectors – some do. Both types of sensors can help you keep your tenants safe in the event of an emergency.

Doors and Locks

Security is another one of those basic rental safety standards that all landlords should meet. At a minimum, your tenant needs well-fitting, good-quality exterior doors complete with both a locking lockset and a deadbolt in each one. The locks must be changed between tenants, and your tenant supplied with a set of the new keys. If your rental is in a district with high crime rates, you may even consider adding a security system as well. Even if you don’t, you can help enhance your tenant’s safety and discourage would-be burglars with quality doors and locks.

GFI Outlets

Ground Fault Interrupting outlets (GFIs) have been required since 1971. But if your Kempner rental house is older than the mentioned year, you might need to upgrade your electrical outlets. GFIs are essential for the reason that they help prevent electric shocks and fires. When correctly wired, these outlets contain a circuit that will trip in the event of an electrical surge or a ground fault. Mostly, electrical outlets close to a water source, most commonly placed in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and the exterior, need to be GFI outlets.

Lead Paint

Another big problem with older rental homes is the presence of lead-based paint. Before 1978, many properties used this type of paint for interior elements. Paint on wooden window sills, railings, and even walls can flake off, spreading toxic metals throughout the house. Lead is particularly dangerous to young children and pets. To determine whether your rental has lead-based paint or not, have it checked. If you discover lead in your rental property, seek a professional who has experienced in lead paint removal. You must also make the renters informed of the risk of lead paint.

Pest Infestations

Another crucial rental safety standard you should pay attention to is the presence of pests. From mice and rats to insects, pests of all kinds are both a nuisance and a disease carrier. Your responsibility is to guarantee that your rental home is free of pests before leasing it. But if the pests return, irrespective of whether your tenants are not keeping the property clean, it is still your responsibility to get rid of the pests. An effective way to know if your property is pest-free is to contract with a local pest control company to service your property on a schedule.

By keeping your property to meet these basic safety standards, you significantly reduce your risk of expensive lawsuits and other obstacles. Yet, keeping a property up to code can spend both time and effort. If you would like to spend your time pursuing other interests, consider hiring Real Property Management Highland to handle the property maintenance for you. Our Kempner property managers are well-versed in rental safety standards and understand what to do to protect both your tenants and your property value. Contact us online or call us at 830-637-7880.

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