Every rental property owner would do well to protect their respective investments. After all, the less attention paid to maintenance, upkeep and tenant satisfaction, the more value a rental is likely to lose. That being the case, it’s in your best interest to keep both the property and all who dwell within as safe as possible. Fortunately, ensuring the safety of your rental and its residents doesn’t have to be an uphill battle – especially if you have solid advice at your disposal.

Man installing smoke or carbon monoxide detector

Take Preventative Measures Against Fire

The more residents your property has, the more opportunities there are for fires to start. And while there’s no surefire to completely wipe out the threat of fire, there are a number of steps you can take towards reducing the odds of a serious blaze.

For starters, smoke detectors and fire alarms should be placed throughout the property, preferably in each unit. Furthermore, fire extinguishers should be readily accessible to all tenants and, ideally, present in every unit. In addition, all units should feature easy access to fire escapes. Even a small fire can grow into an uncontrolled blaze if the proper precautions aren’t taken, so if you’ve thus far regarded the threat of fire as an afterthought, there’s no time like the present to correct this mistake. Unsurprisingly, fire safety is particularly valued in municipalities that utilize high-quality fire inspection software.

Don’t Skimp on Property Maintenance

It behooves every landlord to regard property maintenance as a top priority. For one thing, placing maintenance on the backburner stands to make a rental unsafe – and in some cases, outright uninhabitable. Additionally, failing to treat maintenance with due importance is practically guaranteed to draw the ire of tenants – who are entitled to feel safe in their respective residences. Adopting a lax approach to property maintenance can also lower the value of a rental, which is something no property owner relishes.

Developing a reputation for being indifferent toward maintenance may also hurt you professionally. Current and former tenants who have problems with your approach to maintenance (or lack thereof) are liable to voice their complaints online, which may serve to reduce interest from people in search of rental residences.

With this in mind, make a point of promptly responding to every maintenance request a tenant puts forth. Even if a problem strikes you as relatively minor, it’s important to understand that small issues can turn into much larger ones if left alone long enough. Staying on top of maintenance may also require you to hire dedicated maintenance personnel – particularly if the property in question is a large apartment building or condo complex.

Be Aware of High-Risk Tenants

In many instances, property damage comes about as a result of carelessness on the part of tenants. As the owner of the property, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to expect tenants to treat your rental with care. So, if you’re looking to minimize your chances of taking on tenants who are likely to cause harm to the property, make a point of putting every rental applicant through a meticulous screening process.

When screening potential renters, there are several key areas you’ll need to focus on. First off, to ensure that an applicant is able to comfortably afford rent, take care to confirm their income situation and have a look at their credit. Secondly, to get a general idea of how responsible they are, make sure to get in touch with any references they list.

Furthermore, to help ensure that you don’t take on tenants who are likely to cause property damage, look into each applicant’s criminal background – assuming, of course, they have one. If you discover that they’ve been convicted of offenses that could prove harmful to other renters or the property itself, this should serve as a red flag. You should take the time to review each applicant’s rental history, and should you find a history of evictions and/or property damage, it may be best to pass on the party in question.

Safety is not something that any rental property owner can afford to take lightly. In the absence of the proper safety measures, both your tenants and your property are likely to face a number of dangers. Furthermore, failing to regard safety as a priority is liable to result in low renter retention, serious property damage and possible legal consequences. Landlords who are serious about safety would do well to heed the tips outlined above.

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