What are Your Responsibilities as a Landlord?

By 15th September 2014Blog

Being a property owner and managing your property efficiently is indeed a commendable job, but at the same time you should not overlook your responsibilities towards your tenants. Rental property owners bear the responsibility of ensuring their tenants enjoy safe and habitable housing during their stay in the real estate. Not just because the law speaks about tenant safety, but ensuring the safety of your tenants can prevent accidents, burglary, and other hazards that can lead to crimes on your rental real estate, injuries to visitors and tenants, and legal hassles for the landlords.

Here are some safety guidelines which every property manager should follow to ensure safe stay of tenants.

Conduct property safety inspections regularly
Check the property for broken windows, leaking pipes, damaged wood on railings, decks, and balusters, and rotted or broken stair treads. Examine electrical wiring and ensure CO2 and smoke detectors are installed in accordance with the building codes and operating order.

Ensure preventative maintenance
Fix all those features that need repair work. These include safety aspects such as broken locks, tripping hazards, and unsafe railings.

Provide fire extinguishers for every rental unit
Fire extinguisher is one of the important amenities that property managers should provide every rental unit. Also, educate your tenants on escape routes in event of a fire hazard.

Clean all clutter that can cause hazard
Clear off broken or dangling tree limbs, ice, and snow as soon as you can. Clean up heaps of fallen dry leaves, especially on the stairs, that can cause slipping.

Educate tenants to take proper measures to prevent criminal activity
Tenants should be educated to keep their vehicles locked, and avoid leaving valuable and other important items in their vehicles. If tenants come across something suspicious activity, individuals, or vehicles in their surroundings, they should report it to the property manager or security-in-charge immediately. Property managers should never allow strangers into a property unless the presiding tenant approves the entry. Also, property owners should remind tenants that they are responsible for the behavior and actions of their guests.

Maintain your property safe and clean
Make sure the parking areas, stairwells, sidewalks, and common areas are well lit. Ensure you provide the tenants with appropriate, safe locking windows and doors. Trim trees and shrubs around the windows. Interact with tenants to learn about potential crime and safety issues. Inspect the property for signs of potential criminal activities regularly. Make sure you include a clause in the lease that says that tenants will be evicted for selling, dealing, or manufacturing drugs on the property or supporting such activities. Run a criminal background check on each applicant to ensure you don’t lend your property to any violent criminal or sex offender. This will ensure safety of everyone around.

If you follow these safety guidelines, you can offer safe and healthy housing to your tenants and run your property management business successfully without any legal concerns.