How to Ensure Your Rental Meets Safety Standards
Choosing to become a landlord is one of the best decisions that one can make. However, to enjoy its full benefits, you must be in compliance with several laws, including the warranty of habitability. As the landlord, you are to maintain the safety standards of your rentals and keep the place in a habitable state. Reading up on the applicable legislation and making the necessary installations is the first step.
You also need to carry out regular inspections and possible rennovations of the property to ensure that you detect any defects beforehand. These protect the value of your property in the long run and also reduce the cost of maintenance. From our experience managing property in the area, here are the main safety areas that you should be focusing on.
It is a serious concern when a renter makes a complaint about a broken heater. If not fixed promptly, there is a possibility that the issue can go to court due to the risk associated. The same applies for the boiler.
Make regular inspections of the heater and the boiler. Due to the heat associated, make sure that combustible items are not in close proximity. We recommend that you install a screen next to any heating element/ source to reduce the possibility of a fire.
Plumbing issues come in various forms. If left unresolved, plumbing can result in flooding, damaging your floors, furniture, and fittings.
Most plumbing issues can be dealt with through property inspections of your piping and drainage efficiency. Don’t be afraid of spending an extra amount to fit in quality pipes and fittings. The same applies to hiring experienced plumbers to fix your leaks.
Electricity issues are more common with old properties that often need upgrading to the current electrical safety standards. If left unchecked, you are putting your tenant’s life at risk and also your investment in real estate. Electricity faults can result in fires. Current electrical standards require your property to be fitted with Ground Fault Interrupters (GFIs) to reduce the possibility of shocks and faults.
Doors & Windows
A strong and sturdy door is an important piece of your rental. Not only does this keep your tenants safe but it also makes your property compliant. The same standard applies to your windows.
As access points, your doors and windows are the fastest way for your tenants to exit the property should there be an emergency. Your access points should have safety features that allow for an easy and fast access exit should it be needed.
Walls, Floors, & Ceilings
Make sure that all your floors are non-slip surfaces. This applies also for your common areas. If you find uneven flooring, there might be a problem with the foundation. You might need to ask for an assessment by either a home inspector or structural engineer to diagnose the problem and recommend the way forward.
As for the walls, you need to keep an eye out for cracks and signs of water damage. Cracks are a sign of foundation issues. The common signs of water damage include peeling paint/ wallpaper, bubbling paint, and warped walls. Have the issue worked on by a professional as soon as possible.
Property provisions dictate that the minimum ceiling height is 3 meters. Also, check on the insulation of your property. Should you find it lacking, install ceiling fittings with low thermal conductivity.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are important to keep tenants safe. During your regular inspection, perform regular tests to ensure that they are in good condition, or hire a reliable and local property management firm to see to your property’s needs.
There are plenty of affordable and effective smoke and carbon monoxide detectors available, and they are a great addition to your rental property to ensure the safety of your tenants and investment.
Old appliances can be hazardous to your tenants and property. You can have a home inspector perform regular checks of the property, including the appliances. In the inspection report, they will give you their professional recommendations. Replace old appliances with quality ones that will offer you good value in the long run.
Don’t forget to regularly service your appliances. You will be able to detect these issues before they turn into a larger problem.
When renting out your property, it is important to ensure it is in good condition and meets safety standards. Keeping your property in good condition will help reduce vacancies and maintain the value of the home. As a landlord, it is important to take care of the property, as it helps maintain a good relationship with your tenants. This can help reduce tenant turnover and increase your income in the long run.
Here at Evolve Real Estate and Property Management, we are here to help. We take care of all aspects of property management, including property maintenance, advertising, tenant screening, rent collection and more! Get in touch with us today for further information on how we can serve you and your investment!