Posted by Mitchell Vinnitsky

5 Property Management Safety Tips to Minimize Risk in 2024

As a property manager, one of your biggest responsibilities is keeping tenants happy. In doing so, it’s essential that you continuously meet certain safety standards. And while there are regulations that vary based on location, there are some universal criteria that all property managers should adhere to across the board. As you prepare your business strategies for the coming year, be sure to keep the following five risk management tips in mind.

Stairs and Railings

Stairs are inherently dangerous, but you can minimize the risk of a tenant or one of their guests slipping and falling by keeping yours in good condition. Non-carpeted stairs can be made safer by installing runners or painting them with non-slip coating. Concrete stairways should be kept clear of debris and other hazards. And all stairways should have sturdy, well-maintained railings for people to hold onto as they climb or descend. These things should be inspected regularly and repaired promptly as needed.

Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Most locations have strict requirements that landlords and property managers install and maintain fully functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout their properties. Even if this wasn’t a requirement, however, it should be one of your top priorities for the safety and wellbeing of your tenants. Batteries should be replaced regularly, and equipment inspected frequently to ensure that it’s working properly. (We recommend doing so quarterly.)

Common Areas

In addition to stairways, other common areas of your property should be routinely checked and adequately maintained to prevent potential injury to tenants and visitors. External walkways should be free of cracks or uneven surfaces that could cause someone to trip and fall. Indoor hallways should be clear and free of any debris that could be tripped on or possibly knocked over onto someone walking by. Make sure tenants understand their role in keeping these common areas clean and safe as well.

Doors, Windows and Locks

Regardless of whether your properties are located in a safe neighborhood or one where crime is a problem, all of your properties should feature properly fit, high quality exterior doors with both a handle lock as well as a deadbolt. Windows should be intact, kept in good working order, and feature functional locking mechanisms. Door locks should be changed between each tenant. If you’ve got the budget, installing a security system can provide an added level of protection to your tenants.

Lead Paint

If the properties you manage were built after 1980, chances are you don’t have to worry about lead paint. In properties built prior to this date, however, this paint was used on most interior elements, including wooden sills and railings. When lead paint flakes off, which it is prone to do, it can spread toxic material and be a hazard to tenants – particularly small children and pets. If you haven’t yet confirmed whether your properties are clear of lead paint, let 2023 be the year you do so.

The last thing any property management professional wants is to end up in court over a safety violation – or worse, facing a personal injury lawsuit due to negligence. By ensuring that your properties meet the five basic safety standards listed above, you’ll not only protect your tenants and their guests, but you’ll also protect yourself and your bottom line in the process.

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