We work with landlords and property managers on a regular basis that have provided us helpful tips on how to make your rental property a safer place to live.
Here are some suggested ideas:
1. Does your unit has a bath-tub shower with a shower curtain & rod? Replace the shower curtain and rod with a bi-fold shower door enclosure. This prevents water damage on the wall and floor from getting worse over time.
2. Upgrade outlets in the kitchen and bathroom to GFCI outlets. This is a required upgrade throughout California and in most counties. A GFCI outlet has a built in breaker switch that will pop should the outlet be overloaded or shorted for any reason.
3. Child proofing all outlets throughout the home is always a good choice if you are planning on renting to families. Upgrading your existing outlets to a child proof type outlet that have plastic insert in them to help prevent children from easily being able to shove miscellaneous items into the outlet is always a good safety upgrade.
4. Door and windows are often overlooked but can be a security hazard if not maintained. Make sure to check that all windows and doors close and can be securely locked and unlocked without issue.
5. Check to make sure the stove/range has a tip-over bracket attached to backside of the unit. This helps prevent the stove from being tipped over should a child open the oven and stand on the door.
6. Exterior stairs & handrails should be free of debris and secure. Adding grip tape to the stair treads help create a grippy surface in most wet conditions. Make sure handrails are securely fastened and are not open ended.
7. Exterior Lighting is an item that is easily overlooked by rental property owners as they tend to visit their properties during the day. Make sure all walk ways are well lit up and driveways have motion lights.
8. Inspect fences and gates to make sure the posts are secured in the ground and or attached to the structure. Fence posts deteriorate over time which can cause a fence to blow over during heavy winds or storms.
9. Inspect your garage door opener to make sure the doors motion sensor is in good working order. Remember that a properly working garage door shouldn't be able to close onto ANY object that is in the way of the door closing. The safety mechanism should detect an item blocking the door and cause the door to stop itself from closing and return to open position.
10. Checking the walkways and sidewalks for cracks and uneven surfaces can help prevent future trip hazards for your tenants. Tree roots are known to cause pavement and walkways to become uneven and in some cases unsafe.
11. Old paint and or chemicals can become unsafe when not properly stored. Schedule a once yearly property walk through type inspection to help prevent dangerous chemicals from being improperly stored.