Managing rental properties requires landlords to take on multiple roles. One of these roles include acting as a Safety Officer. Part of Elk Grove property management is providing a safe and secure living space for tenants. Stimmel Law Firm states that this includes all aspects of Habitability Laws, implied habitability laws, and taking measures to deter intruders. Unsafe rental properties are a liability to property owners and can bring about legal troubles if an injury or accident occurs. Follow along below to discover how you can keep your rental property safe and limit your liability.
Safety Checklist for Rental Properties
Real Property Management Select takes every effort to reinforce and inspect rental properties for safety. Twice a year, our Elk Grove property management team conducts routine property inspections. During these inspections, our experts look for safety hazards, repairs, needed maintenance, and general housekeeping. A rental property must provide a safe and secure home for tenants. Property managers can conduct inspections following these items on our checklist.
- Structural Elements: Inspect the exterior of the property. Look for loose roof shingles, stucco or siding that is cracked or breaking off of the exterior of the house, secure hand railings, deck and patio railings, look for sidewalks with large raises or cracks in the concrete. On the interior of the property, inspect the flooring to make sure there are no tripping hazards, walls should be smooth to the touch without bubbling or cracking paint or mildew growth, toilet seats must be securely fastened, as well as glass shower doors.
- Common Areas: Elk Grove property management oversees all types of properties including single family homes, large apartment complexes, duplexes, and condos. Landlords that manage large apartment complexes should check common walkways and common areas to be certain they are clear of debris, trash, and tenant belongings and storage. Single family homes also have common areas that consist of the front and back yard, stairways, and hallways. Inspect these areas and see that residents keep a tidy yard by pruning and trimming overgrown trees and shrubs, mowing the lawn, and double check the handrails to see that they are tightly fastened.
- Electric and Gas: Turn on and off systems that use electric and gas. This includes appliances, furnace and air conditioning units, flush toilets, turn on fans and ventilations systems, and test elevators at large apartment complexes. The Elk Grove property management team at SAC-METRO also suggests testing and replacing batteries on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Limit your liability as a landlord and inspect these detectors twice a year.
- Pests: Look for signs of animals droppings, points of entry in screens and screen vents, look inside kitchen cabinetry and behind kitchen appliances, in the bathrooms, and in the bedrooms for signs of pests including mice, cockroaches, bedbugs, or carpet beetles. These are some of the most common household pests that can cause a big infestation with expensive treatment if not caught early on. Lease agreements should state that residents must report any signs of pests and comply with treatment.
How to Deter Intruders
There are many ways to keep a property safe from criminal intruders. As a landlord, take the necessary steps below to ensure your tenant’s safety. Elk Grove property management professionals have been trained in the many signs that invite intruders. Keep your property safe by making your property a zero access point for burglars and robbers.
- Lights: A well-lit home or apartment complex provides multiple benefits to tenants. It allows them to see clearly at night and avoid trips and falls while on the property. It also deters intruders. Alarm New England Company states that 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door. Turn on the porch light and keep the exterior of the home well-lit during evening hours. It is more difficult for intruders to sneak through a door that has a bright light shining on it, than if they were camouflaged by darkness.
- Tree limbs: Cut, prune and trim any tree limbs that would allow a burglar to climb the limb and enter a second story window. Trimmed trees also neglect to provide the coverage that intruders look to hide behind, so they will not be detected by neighbors or people driving by the house. The Elk Grove property management SAC-METRO leasing staff wants to remind landlords that overgrown or unhealthy trees could also cause damage to the premises if they are uncared for and fall onto the house in the event of a storm.
- Fences: Secure a padlock on gates to prevent unwanted guests from wandering into your front or backyard. Do not install tall fences or fences that provide full coverage in the front yard. Once again, this provides a nice hiding place for intruders. If you must have a fence in the front yard, choose a short picket fence or one with gaps between the fence slats.
- Doors and windows: Test all door and window locks. If a lock does not work, take action immediately and make a repair. Failure to do so could present a liability to a landlord or Elk Grove property management teams. Look around the edges of the doors and see that the door shuts tightly, leaving no gap or draft. Repair weather stripping as needed.
How Elk Grove Property Management Can Protect Your Home
RPM Select’s professional leasing staff takes pride in the proper care of rental properties. Our thorough and rigorous inspections help to protect client’s homes from maintenance, repairs, and unwanted criminal intruders. Protect your home and call us today.