We understand that during the term of the lease agreement, landlords do not always stay at their rental property. However, you still have a duty as per the warranty of habitability to ensure the rental units meet all safety standards.
While there is the legal aspect to safety standards, there are also financial concerns. Failure to comply with safety standards can be costly when a tenant or the local authorities take you to court.
Safety standards are provided for in county ordinances, State, and federal law. While it can be a stressful issue to comply with all these laws, regular inspections can reduce the burden significantly. These inspections help your property stay in good condition, improving the tenants’ experience and the value of the property long-term.
Wondering which safety standards you should be on the lookout for? Our experienced team at Real Property Group has put together this article to help out landlords in the area.
The heaters in your rental units should be inspected regularly to safeguard your tenants’ lives. A broken heater could mean an extremely cold night for your tenants leading to health complications.
Should you receive a complaint from your tenants about broken heating, please attend to them in the shortest time possible. On top of this, make sure to clean your heaters regularly. This will reduce the risk of dust catching on fire.
There is always a possibility of a fire breaking out when heaters are involved. Ensure that your tenants know about this and keep combustible materials and liquids away from the heater.
Water spills and leaks can be a very expensive experience for your journey as a property owner and landlord. You can expect damage to the floors, walls, and furnishings when there is a massive water leak in the house.
Another issue with flooding is the prolonged dampness, especially in a vacant unit. Once the water has been absorbed into the walls and the floors, tenants may complain of a cold house, or mold.
Preventive maintenance is the ultimate safeguard against plumbing problems. During the inspection of your property, always check on the taps, water closet, and piping.
Electricity issues are more common in older properties. But, this is not to say that a newer property is in the clear. When installing and repairing any electrical faults, have a certified and experienced electrician handle all your issues.
A new piece of hardware that has helped reduce electrical faults is Ground Fault Interrupters. These outlets prevent shocks and reduce the possibility of an outbreak occurring on the property.
Windows and Doors
A tenant will want to live in a residence where they feel secure and where their family and assets are safe. You will need to secure the windows and main entry points to your building.
The sturdiness of your windows and doors should not limit fast exit during emergencies. A tenant or their family member would not have time to access the keys to exit the premises during such a time. As a rule of thumb, emergency exits should only be accessible from the inside.
Floors, Ceilings, and Walls
You will need to pay keen attention to the quality of the materials used for your floors in rental units, to avoid excessive damage from normal wear and tear. This is especially true when you are handling families with children and retirees. A slippery floor could mean a trip to the emergency room or worse.
We recommend that you install waterproof non-slip surfaces. Should your tenants report that the floor is uneven, consider contacting a foundation specialist for an inspection and analysis.
Keep an eye out for cracks in the walls, misaligned doors and windows, and warped cabinets. These are also signs of issues with the foundation. Peeling or cracked wallpaper and bubbles in the wall paint are signs of water damage.
Your ceiling should be lined with the proper insulation.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide is rated as one of the lethal gasses due to its colorless and odorless characteristics. It would be in your tenants’ best interests if you have functional and quality detectors installed on your premises.
Carry out regular inspections to ensure that the detectors are working okay and the batteries are intact. It should be included in the rental agreement that tampering with the smoke detectors is against the lease agreement.
Maintenance of Appliances
All appliances have a shelf life, given regular maintenance and care. You should keep an eye out for this so as to replace the appliances when the time comes. Older appliances are more expensive to repair and will eat into your profit in the long run. Furthermore, faulty appliances can easily overheat leading to a fire breakout or permanent damage to the property.
Choosing to be a landlord is more than just marketing the property, securing a tenant, and collecting rent. You need to ensure that your property is in the best condition and meets all safety standards.
Are you looking for a trusted and experienced property company to help you in managing your rental units? Real Property Group is the company to rely on. We are members of the Columbia Board of Realtors and Missouri Realtors.
Our company is known for its integrity, professionalism, and accountability. You can rely on us to see to the full needs of your property.