Safety Measures for Landlords – Protecting Your Home and the Renters

Written by Andres Bryant. Posted in Home

Renting has been a viable option for many people over the years since it doesn’t involve making a huge down payment and you can always switch your view if you’re not entirely pleased with it by the end of your lease.

You might’ve heard that while both parties have their obligations, those of a landlord far outweigh those of a renter. More than 100 laws and 400 obligations need to be abided by, and although the numbers fluctuate depending on the state you live in – the basics are the same.

The most important part of this whole process is keeping everyone safe, as it is a landlord’s legal responsibility.

If you are planning on becoming a landlord, or if you are a renter and wish to know what your landlord should do regarding your safety, keep reading.

Safety Checklist

The non-negotiables that every landlord must provide:
  • Gas Check
  • Electric Installation Check
  • Fire Proofing
  • Plumbing Check
  • Security Systems
  • Maintenance and Repairs
  • Renters Insurance
  • Renter Screening

More in-depth

Gas Check

All pipelines must be checked periodically to ensure that they are not faulty. A Gas Safe professional must perform the check at set dates and write an evaluation. These must be saved and provided when needed. Any leaks or loose pipes should be fixed immediately.

Electric Installation Check

All wiring in the property must be in top condition. The light sockets, the switches, the outlets, and every other conductor should be safe and not act as a hazard to any appliance that might be plugged in or possible electrocution of a tenant. While speaking of appliances, all that is provided on the property fall under the landlord’s responsibility. They should be working properly and not be a threat to anyone who might use them. Also, the bulbs, neon LEDs, or anything of the sort must be in good shape and provide enough lighting to avoid any incidents – both inside and outside (entrance or patio) of the house.

Fire Proofing

Landlords must install smoke and CO2 alarms in order to detect any gas leaks, smoke from stoves, grills, or any other fire risk. Furniture must also be as fireproof as possible, especially the one placed in the kitchen or next to the fireplace (if any).

Plumbing Check

All plumbing must be checked by professionals and any damage must be repaired immediately. In case of a pipe bursting, tenants should be made aware of where the main water valve is so that they can close it to avoid further damage. This also goes for the gas valve. In case of heating system malfunctions during winter, the landlord must have it repaired to avoid making the whole pipeline useless due to freezing.

Security Systems

A fool-proof security system would look something like this:

  • Security Alarm

  • Motion Sensor

  • Security Cameras

  • Intercoms

  • A security guard at the entrance

  • Locks on every door and window

Some might have the best fingerprint door lock and an alarm, while others might have the best quality door with double locks and security cameras. Others might simply provide a generic lock coupled with a deadbolt lock.

Previously rented houses will need a lock change after every tenant. Do ask your landlord about the change.

Point is, safety is not a joke, and you should make an effort to ease your renters’ minds.

Maintenance and Repairs

Any floorboards that might snap, any cracked window, any faulty lock or askew door hinge, and any structural damage must be solved by the landlord unless they are the tenant’s fault. Although they don’t mean an immediate safety hazard, these issues should be resolved in a few weeks at the most, seeing as the landlord can risk being sued over an injury sustained because of these nuisances. All repairs for which there is a need for professional services must be overlooked by the landlord to avoid any stolen goods.

Health Hazards

Any lead paint used, asbestos from walls, mold, grime, or moisture build-up makes for one big health issue and must be dealt with. And in the case of a garden or patio area that has greenery, any plant that is dangerous in any way (poisonous, rash-inducing, allergy provoking) must be removed. This is also the case if the trash dumpsters are on the property and are not collected on time. The landlord’s responsibility is, again, to clear these issues.

Renters Insurance

Landlords should also bring awareness to the future tenants about renters insurance since the property insurance is not inclusive. This way, tenants are saved from a hassle in case of any accidents that may occur.

Renter Screening

And finally, if a landlord can rent to multiple tenants, screening is just as important. As a renter, you most likely wish to have good neighbors that can respect the community rules, and your landlord is responsible for carefully selecting all future tenants.

To say it simply

As a landlord, think of your property as the house that you live in. You don’t want anything to affect your health or safety in any way and neither do your tenants. When making the agreements between each other, each of these aspects should be properly discussed to keep both parties’ expectations met.

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