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Rental Safety Standards to Minimize Risk

Keller Tenant Climbing Dangerously Icy Steps in WinterAs a Keller rental property owner, ensuring that your property meets appropriate rental safety standards is a critical responsibility. Even though these standards may differ from state to state or even city to city, there are a few standards that all rental property owners must adhere to. According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, housing codes are created to set a minimum standard for landlords and tenants. Rather than be troublesome, 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 items, you can efficiently protect your tenants and your property values – including your bank account.

Stairs and Railings

Slips and falls are a common concern and can quickly 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 at all times, and remember to clear concrete stairs of debris, ice, and other hazards. It’s also advisable to paint stairs with a non-slip coating to prevent them from getting slippery in wet weather. Railings must be at least 42 inches high and should not move or wobble easily. Be sure to replace missing railings and tighten loose fasteners the minute you notice a problem.

Smoke Detectors

In certain states, landlords are required by law to provide functional smoke detectors in their rental property. However, even if it wasn’t mandatory, 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 a good idea to check if your state requires carbon monoxide detectors in addition to smoke detectors – others 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 should be changed between tenants, and your tenant supplied with a set of the new keys. If your rental is in a spot with high crime rates, you might also 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 Keller rental house is built earlier than that, you may need to upgrade your electrical outlets. GFIs are beneficial because they help prevent electric shocks and fires. When correctly wired, these outlets provide a circuit that will trip in the event of an electrical surge or a ground fault. Normally, electrical outlets close to a water source, typically located in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and the exterior, should be GFI outlets.

Lead Paint

Another serious threat with older rental homes is the presence of lead-based paint. Before 1978, almost all owners used this type of paint for interior elements. Paint on wooden window sills, railings, and even walls can flake off, spreading toxic metals around the house. Lead is particularly dangerous to young ones and pets. To know if your rental has lead-based paint or not, get it examined. If you notice lead in your rental property, seek professional help to remove the lead paint. You must also advise the renters against the possible danger of lead paint.

Pest Infestations

Another rental safety standard that you need to pay attention to is the presence of pests. From mice and rats to insects, pests of all sorts are both a nuisance and a disease carrier. Your responsibility is to verify that your rental home is free of pests before leasing it. However, if the pests return, even if your tenants are not keeping the property clean, it is still your responsibility to get rid of the pests. The easiest approach to determine if your property is pest-free is to contact a local pest control company to service your property on a schedule.

By keeping your property in line with these basic safety standards, you significantly reduce your risk of expensive lawsuits and other risk factors. But keeping a property up to code can require both time and effort. If you would want to spend your time pursuing other interests, start hiring Real Property Management Meridian to handle the property maintenance for you. Our Keller property managers have experience in rental safety standards and know what to do to protect both your tenants and your property value. Contact us online or call us at 817-678-8787.

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