If you’re considering investing in rental properties, remember you’re responsible for more than collecting rent. Every aspect of the home or apartments you own are your responsibility. The health of your tenants is one of the most important aspects of owning rental property. With that in mind, you must provide them with safe and healthy living conditions. The best way to do that is to be sure the property itself has no health hazards. 

Pest Infestation

Pest infestation is always a concern for landlords and tenants. Pests like roaches, rats, and bed bugs can spread disease. Before you allow any tenant to move into your property, have it inspected for any signs of pest infestation. Have a professional treat the property with human safe products to rid all of the pests from the property if any are discovered. To protect yourself from any tenant action, have a certificate from the pest control company indicating the property is free of all pests.

Be sure the resident understands it it their responsibility to keep the property free of anything that will attract pests. Garbage should be disposed of properly and timely to keep pests from invading the property.

Smoke detectors

Smoke detectors are a must-have in all rental homes. There should be a detector in every room of the house. Show tenants where the smoke detectors are in the property and have that checked off on their move in documentation. You are responsible for ensuring these detectors are in continual working order. Choose a day each month to come in and test all of the detectors to be sure they are working properly. This is also an non invasive way of entering the property to give you a quick visual inspection of the entire property. Tenants want their privacy understandably, but making these monthly smoke detector checks can alert you to any problems you might not see otherwise.

Septic tank and sewer

If the property is on a septic system, you must keep it maintained and working odor free. Chances are you have a septic company that does annual inspections to be sure there are no leaks and that it’s in good working order. Aerobic systems have cleaning tablets that are installed every few weeks as well. You need to decide if you’ll leave that up to your tenant to do or if you’ll do it yourself. This is a very important aspect of a septic system. It should never be left to chance.

If the system has been installed for a long time, you may need to have your septic tank pumping service check to see if it needs to be cleaned out. The surrounding neighbors will complain if sewer odors start coming from your property. Don’t let it get that far.

Security and safety

It is incumbent on the landlord of a building to ensure that the building is secure.  Check that there are working locks on all doors and windows. Any broken window glass should be replaced immediately. All windows and doors should open and close correctly as well.

It’s good practice to run a background check on anyone who is living in the residence. It’s important to know who exactly you are allowing to live in a property you own.

Stairs and Railings

Landlords are required to maintain railings and stairs in all of their properties. A loose stair landing should never be ignored. Have all stairs and railings inspected before renting to a tenant. If any stairs seem loose, repair it immediately. The same goes for the railings. If there is the slightest wobble, it’s important to get it firmed up before anyone moves into the property.

You are liable for any accidents that happen as a result of neglect of repairs. Your tenants want to feel comfortable and safe in the building you are renting to them. To avoid any lawsuit that may result because you didn’t maintain the property appropriately, keep the property maintained.

Landlords must make sure their rental building meets the basic health standards of a habitable dwelling. It’s in your best interest to go over every aspect of the property with the prospective tenant. Bring a checklist for them to sign indicating they inspected the property with you and found everything in good working order. This protects you and the tenant.

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