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7 Ways To Serve The Duty To Provide A Safe Environment For Tenants
It’s not the landlord’s duty to take care of tenants like how a parent does for his or her child.
Even if your tenant is a mummy’s boy, you would be crazy to provide unconditional love thinking it’s part and parcel of being a landlord.
Yet a landlord does have a duty to provide a safe environment for tenants inhabiting the house.
With a landlord’s duty of due care, reasonable steps must be taken to ensure and protect the basic safety of tenants.
For example, it would be downright wrong to have a main door that either has no lock or is unable to lock. Ignoring this small error can cause you big time should criminals gain easy entry to the rental property from the unlockable door.
Landlords must take steps to protect tenants from foreseeable danger. But unforeseeable danger is something that people cannot reasonably expect and gets the landlord off the hook.
If for example, a random armed robber down the street fires a shot that threatens the safety of tenants, it is not an event you could reasonably foresee.
Here are some things you can do as a responsible landlord to protect your tenants.
1) Security systems
Ensure that all security systems are in place and in working condition.
It might not be necessary to spend thousands of dollars on the latest high-tech home security equipment from Amazon to appease your tenants, but things like security gates, access cards, locks, etc should be tested regularly and maintained.
Not just that.
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms should also be scheduled for maintenance.
2) Do not overpromise
When trying to attract tenants from placing adverts all over the place, don’t make the mistake of making huge security claims that cannot be backed up.
You can state the types of high level security systems that have been setup.
But claiming that no criminal would ever be able to breach them is just looking for trouble.
It could come back to bite you one day.
3) Proactive fixes
On matter concerning security, it is best to attend to tenants’ feedback as soon as possible.
For example, if the lighting fixtures in the front yard is no longer working, do make it a top priority to get it fixed or newly installed. A dark yard can make it tempting for bad guys to target a house for looting.
This is even more important when the issue has been brought up by the tenant.
Should a safety problem exist and repairs requested by a tenant, you could face liability if something happens due to your inaction.
4) Ensure exterior lighting works
As mentioned earlier, lighting fixtures on the outside of a house serve as a big deterrence for criminals.
Conduct regular checks and inform tenants to notify you as soon as they observe lighting that are not working as they should.
Getting these things fixed ASAP not only give you better peace of mind, it would also give tenants the impression that you are a landlord that cares for their safety.
5) Security guards
If you own a multi-family property, then it might be beneficial to hire a guard or a doorman.
This can help tenants feel safe. And also deter people who don’t live in the building from entering uninvited.
The characteristics of the neighborhood could very well determine how much you should invest in security for your property.
If for example, your property is located in the vicinity of clubs and bars, you might want to heighten the level of security.
Drunks can cause a lot of damage and disturbance.
This is something that you have to make a judgment call.
7) Screen tenants
It is within your right to probe prospecting tenants of any criminal records.
If you manage to dig out information that makes you uncomfortable, do what you have to do.
This is where a good application process can prevent you from going down a slippery slope.