Being a landlord has rewards and responsibilities. The main benefit of owning a rental property is having a steady stream of income every month. Many are attracted to this as evident in the 10 to 11 million individual investor landlords in the U.S. managing around one to two units of property. Yet, being a landlord is not as simple as it seems.
When you become a rental property owner, you deal with people. Sometimes, this means dealing with tenants when they fail to pay rent. When it comes to this situation, Bloomberg states that a landlord suddenly acquires a certain level of power over a person’s life. A property owner must decide whether to kick a family out of the apartment or give some leeway until they find means to pay.
As a business that deals with people, a landlord needs to have concern over individuals who occupy the property. It does not mean having a friendship with the tenant; it simply means building a professional relationship. As a business owner, your tenants are your customers; a good landlord satisfies the needs of his or her tenants.
Every tenant needs a sense of safety and security in their chosen home. This is what a landlord has to provide. To create a safe home, a property owner must recognize potential hazards and keep them from developing into something that can harm the tenants and the property.
According to the US Fire Administration, there have been approximately 368,500 residential building fires reported each year from 2017 to 2019. This proves that fire is one of the most common dangers a household can face. In severe cases, this may result in loss of property and lives.
A lot of things in your home can be a fire hazard. These are usually found in the kitchen where cooking happens. Cooking means heat, and heat is an element of fire.
As a landlord, a good way to prevent fire on your property is to set up rules and reminders among tenants. As simple as reminding them to never leave sources of fire unattended is a good practice; providing safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher will also help prevent a bigger fire from developing in case of an emergency.
Electrical wires are also potential fire hazards. To avoid potential risk, a landlord must make sure that he or she has replaced all damaged or frayed wires and cords. As some electrical wires are in hard-to-reach places, it is best to hire professionals to do this. Some engineers and electricians perform electrical inspections in residential buildings and provide electrical installation condition reports or EICR afterward.
A tenant also needs to know that he or she is secure from potential threats within the property. Putting an alarm system and adding a security camera will not only give renters peace of mind, but it also puts burglars off when they see that such systems in place.
Another important security feature is lighting. Criminals are attracted to darkness and there is a reason why. Darkness prevents them from being easily detected by potential victims. Therefore, good outdoor lighting can ward off criminals from the home.
These measures will not make your space crime-proof, but it lessens the chances of thieves targeting your property.
Fall and Trip Hazards
A property owner may think that this is trivial and renters can handle this on their own. True, some hazards can be easily prevented by tenants but as a business owner, you still have a responsibility; making sure that you eliminate fall and trip hazards is one of them.
This is especially important if your building mainly has elder and younger tenants living in them. Sometimes, their physical limitation hinders them from identifying and protecting themselves from hazards. If they get into an accident and it is because of a structural defect within the rental property, a landlord may be liable.
In the UK, there is a law called the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. It states that landlords must provide a well-maintained home fit for human habitation; in case of accidents due to structural defects within the property, he or she bears responsibility. To save you from all the hassle of facing legal implications and bearing additional costs, it is best to do preventive measures to avoid accidents.
As a landlord, you can conduct a risk assessment of your property or hire an external inspector. Particular areas such as stair-rails, balconies, and bathrooms should be properly examined and safeguarded.
Potential trip hazards include loose carpeting and tiles; anything protruding must be immediately fixed. Again, lighting is of utmost importance as it provides good visibility conditions; ultimately, it prevents the likelihood of falling and tripping.
Maintaining your property keeps your business afloat. Happy tenants will more likely stay when they feel they are being taken care of. As they stay, you are assured of regular income that is ultimately the goal of your rental property.