5 Safety Features to Add to Your Rental Property

By Alicia Geigel on May 20, 2019

Managing a property requires taking on a significant amount of responsibility, whether it’s regularly checking in on tenants or maintaining its appearance. One of the largest responsibilities, if not the largest, of a landlord/property manager is ensuring and upholding the safety of your tenants.

While you may be thinking that adding safety features to your rental units or property as a whole can be tedious or overwhelming, they are quite the opposite! Are you a landlord/property manager looking to make your units or overall property safer? Unsure of where to start? Check out these five safety features that will keep your tenants happy without taking a chunk out of your time or budget!

lock, handle, door, hands, key

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1. Lighting: When considering specific safety features to add to your rental property, lighting should be at the top of your list. Proper lighting makes the property feel safe and can show that you are willing to go the extra mile to make your tenants feel that. There are two types of lighting to focus on, indoor and outdoor lighting, which both serve a specific purpose.

  • Indoor: Adding lighting to the main hallways and stairwells of the rental property will allow your tenants to move freely without having to worry. Be sure to be on top of the lighting and replace bulbs/schedule maintenance when necessary.
  • Outdoor: Similar to indoor lighting, outdoor lighting will give your tenants a greater sense of security while they travel in and out of their home. Lighting both in the front and back of the property is the only way to go. You can either time the lights and keep them on during a specific period or have them motion activated, the choice is yours!

2. Secure Doors: Having secure doors is a necessity when managing a rental property. As the landlord/property manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that your tenants have a sturdy, secure door with adequate locks to keep their property save at all times.

  • Structure: Before anything, make sure that your doors are made of a sturdy and reliable material, such as metal or wood. Avoid glass doors due to the fact that they can be easily broken into and pose a greater threat to safety.
  • Locks (Chain, Deadbolt): Having locks on both the important entry/exit doors as well as tenant’s personal doors is an obvious, but important way to ensure safety. Deadbolt locks on the main entry and exit doors can further safety-proof your property from break-ins. Chain locks can add an extra layer of security to a tenant’s doors due to the additional protection of the chain.
  • Peepholes: Peepholes help tenants filter through who can and cannot come into their home.

3. Windows: Like doors, windows are also an important component of safety on a rental property. As a landlord/property manager, it is a necessity to take the proper measures to make sure your windows are the safest they can be.

  • Locks: Just as a door has a lock, all windows should have appropriate locks as well. Regardless of whether the window is on the first or eighth floor, any and all windows should have locks.
  • Security Bars: Security bars are an extra safety measure to add to windows on lower level properties, such as the first floor. The addition of security bars can be an additional barrier to prevent criminals from breaking in. Erin Eberlin of The Balance suggests, “You could consider adding security bars to windows on the first floor. This will obviously affect the aesthetic appeal of your property, so it is up to you if you think your tenants and prospective tenants would view this negatively or positively.”
window, lock, screen, safe, secure, home

Image via Pexels

4. Security Cameras: Security cameras are a great investment for your property rentals, as not only it allows you to manage your property effectively, but it also helps tenants to feel safer. I mean, how many times has a criminal decided against committing a crime because of a “Smile, you’re on camera” sign? I don’t know the exact number, but I am sure it’s significant. Consider placing cameras in highly trafficked parts of the property, such as the front and back, stairways, and hallways.

5. Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors: While these detectors are required, it is nonetheless important to have functioning, effective carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your rental units. This not only covers specific responsibilities you need to abide by, but it also makes your tenants feel safer. In a blog by HomeAway.com, they note, “It is important that your property adheres to the local smoke alarm regulations and that all smoke alarms are tested at least once per year. To ensure the smoke alarms are effective for all travelers in your property, installing alarms with flashing lights can help those who are hard of hearing.”

Ensuring the safety of your tenants doesn’t have to be an extensive, tedious job. Rather, it can be done through a few, easy ways that can give both you and your tenant a sense of peace and security. As always, good luck!

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