Landlords have a responsibility to keep their properties safe and healthy for tenants. Building codes lay out requirements that you must meet to maintain legally habitable rentals, but you owe it to your tenants to go above and beyond. The cleaner, safer, and healthier your rental property is, the more attractive you’ll be on the market. That’s why you must prioritize keeping your rentals in good shape. It helps to keep a list of all the requirements you must meet and projects you must perform. Maintain your property and provide a safe home for your tenants by staying on top of this health and safety checklist for landlords.
Inspect Regularly for Environmental Hazards
Environmental hazards like extreme temperatures and weather can cause damage or create hazards on your property. You won’t always be around to catch these problems when they do occur. For example, how are you supposed to know the moment a roof starts to leak after a heavy storm? That’s why you must be diligent about regular property inspections. After severe weather, walk around your property to look for building or landscaping damage. It’s also a good idea to inspect the building and units themselves on a regular basis. It will help you stay on top of growing problems like mold, which can stem from plumbing issues, excess humidity, and other forms of water damage. Frequent inspections help you identify and address issues before they turn into costly catastrophes.
Ensure Utilities Are in Working Order
Utilities like water, electricity, and heat are a necessary part of any home. That’s why you must make sure all these services are in working order for your tenants—especially if the cost of these utilities is included in monthly rent. Annual utility tests and inspections should be at the top of any health and safety checklist for landlords. Work with your local companies and providers to correctly install and set up these services. Pay attention to the type of work that is necessary to ensure utilities continue to run safely and effectively throughout your property. For example, if your property uses well water, make sure you request and keep records of routine well water maintenance to ensure your water supply is safe, functional, and healthy for your tenants. A little bit of annual utility work will prevent major damage and health risks, saving you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Secure the Building or Complex
It’s not enough to ensure that each individual unit is safe. Your overall building or complex must be a secure and comfortable place for people to live. Invest in security cameras at entrances and in mail rooms. Install lights in outdoor areas—especially near front or back doors—to keep the property well-lit at night. Before you rent to someone, ensure that all doors and windows are in good shape. In addition to making your rentals safer, adding these and other security features will make your property more appealing to potential tenants.