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Rental Safety Standards to Minimize Risk

Sterling Heights Tenant Climbing Dangerously Icy Steps in WinterAs a Sterling Heights rental property owner, guaranteeing that your property meets appropriate rental safety standards is a great responsibility. Even though some standards may change from state to state or even city to city, there are several standards that every rental property owner should adhere to. According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, housing codes are intended to set a minimum standard for landlords and tenants. Instead of an annoyance, these standards can be a helpful guide as you prepare your rental home for quality tenants. By bringing your property up to par on the following six things, you can readily protect your tenants and your property values – also your bank account.

Stairs and Railings

Slips and falls are a common concern and can quickly cause your tenant and their visitors’ significant physical injury. Minimize risk by ensuring that all stairs and railings on the property are in good condition. Replace and refinish wooden stairs often, and remember to clear concrete stairs of debris, ice, and other hazards. It’s also an excellent thing to paint stairs with a non-slip coating to keep them from getting slippery in wet weather. Railings must be at least 42 inches high and should not move or wobble easily. Make sure to replace missing railings and tighten loose fasteners once you notice a problem.

Smoke Detectors

In many states, landlords are required by law to have functional smoke detectors in their rental property. However, regardless of whether it wasn’t required, it’s an important safety measure that all landlords should observe. Check your smoke alarms every year and replace weak or dead batteries immediately. It’s also a smart thought to check if your state requires carbon monoxide detectors in connection to smoke detectors – others do. Both types of sensors can help you keep your tenants safe in the event of an emergency.

Doors and Locks

Security is another one of those basic rental safety standards that all landlords should meet. At a minimum, your tenant prefers well-fitting, good-quality exterior doors complete with both a locking lockset and a deadbolt in each one. The locks should be changed between tenants, and your tenant supplied with a set of the new keys. If your rental is in a location with high crime rates, you might also take into consideration adding a security system. Even though you don’t, you can help enhance your tenant’s safety and discourage would-be burglars with quality doors and locks.

GFI Outlets

Ground Fault Interrupting outlets (GFIs) are already required since 1971. However, if your Sterling Heights rental house is older than that, you have to upgrade your electrical outlets. GFIs are necessary since they help prevent electric shocks and fires. When properly wired, these outlets have a circuit that will trip in the event of an electrical surge or a ground fault. Usually, electrical outlets close to a water source, normally established in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and the exterior, must be GFI outlets.

Lead Paint

Another significant issue with older rental homes is the presence of lead-based paint. Before 1978, numerous houses used this type of paint for interior elements. Paint on wooden window sills, railings, and even walls can flake off, spreading toxic metals all over the property. Lead is particularly dangerous to toddlers and animals. To identify if your rental has lead-based paint or not, get it checked. If you discover lead in your rental property, call someone skilled in extracting lead paints. It would help if you also informed the renters of the existence of lead paint.

Pest Infestations

One last rental safety standard you should pay attention to is the presence of pests. From mice and rats to insects, pests of any sort are both a nuisance and a disease carrier. Your responsibility is to guarantee that your rental home is free of pests before leasing it. Yet, if the pests come again, regardless of whether your tenants are not keeping the property clean, it is still your responsibility to get rid of the pests. One approach to identify if your property is pest-free is to contract with a local pest control company to service your property on a schedule.

By ensuring your property is fulfilling these basic safety standards, you significantly reduce your risk of expensive lawsuits and different issues. However, keeping a property up to code can take both time and effort. If you would prefer to spend your time pursuing other interests, think about hiring Real Property Management Silverstone to handle the property maintenance for you. Our Sterling Heights property managers are knowledgeable in rental safety standards and know what to do to protect both your tenants and your property value. Contact us online or call us at 586-992-6419.

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