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How to Ensure Your Rentals are Safe to Live In

September 03, 2020

The safety of housing should never be understated. The more precautions you take, the lower probability is that you’ll put your tenants at risk and have to deal with expensive home repairs in the future.

Though the laws regarding living conditions vary slightly throughout different states, tenants universally expect a safe and livable environment no matter where the rental property is located. That’s why your fundamental task is to provide your tenants with the livable conditions and double check if they are feeling safe and comfortable in your rental home.  

Every rental property you own should meet housing habitability standards and have an implied warranty of habitability in place. The latter ensures that the location is fit and habitable and will remain the same during the tenancy. The warranty includes basic utilities like electricity, cold and hot water, heat, etc. 

Take basic safety measures 

Along with the warranty of habitability, consider other efficient ways to secure your rental properties against both natural disasters and crime. First up- installing smoke detectors inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area of the rental home.  Make sure they are photoelectric, have a long life battery and have been tested properly. 

You can check out details on installing and maintaining smoke alarms here. 

For extra security, install solid locks on entry points like front doors and windows and take advantage of wireless security cameras and motion-sensitive lights that work as a good theft deterrent. In addition to that, consider DIY landscaping and decor solutions like minimal outside illuminations or tall hedges that make it impossible for the intruders to break in or remain unnoticed.  

By making safety your priority, you’re creating habitable conditions for your tenants. Plus, safe rental homes are unlikely to stay vacant for long.  

Conduct regular rental inspections

Another way to ensure that your rentals meet safety standards is to conduct regular inspections. In most cases, landlords perform inspections a few times a year. The inspection details are usually defined in the lease agreement. 

Don’t forget that the notice of an inspection should be sent to the tenants at least 48 hours prior to the inspection. During the inspection, check whether the plumbing, electricity and kitchen appliances operate properly, test smoke detectors, examine locks and stairs, inspect ceilings for roof leaks. You might also want to check the HVAC system and electronic outlets of TVs or stereo equipment. 

Related: 8 Tips on Being a Landlord and Ensuring Safety Standards.

According to the TenantCloud Twitter Poll, 37% of respondents conduct rental inspections to ensure their rental properties are safe to live in while 34% of landlords rely on a security system. 

How to make sure your rentals are safe to live in
TenantCloud Twitter Poll

How do you ensure your rental properties are safe to live in? Any specific recommendations on how to meet safety requirements of the rentals?