When renting out your property, you obtain certain legal responsibilities. Among these responsibilities is making sure your tenants are safe. According to the Warranty of Habitability, landlords are required to provide their tenants with a property that meets certain safety codes.
Keeping your property safe for tenants is beneficial to your bottom line. Your tenants become comfortable and, in turn, might want to stay longer, which saves you the cost and hassle of having a vacant property.
The following are the areas to focus on in regards to meeting safety standards.
When was the last time you inspected the boiler? Has it been more than a year? If so, it could be posing a danger to your tenants.
When inspecting the boiler, pay attention to the following issues:
- Low boiler pressure
- Failure to turn on
- Banging, gurgling, or whistling sounds
- Radiator faults
- No heating or hot water
If you notice any of these issues, seek expert help as soon as possible. A malfunctioning boiler can spell disaster for your tenants. Among other things, it can release carbon monoxide into the atmosphere, which can cause serious illness or even death.
Under Nevada Habitability law (Nev. Rev. Stat §118A.290), landlords have a responsibility to provide a working plumbing system.
Some of the most common plumbing issues include leaky pipes, dripping faucets, sump pump failure, slow or clogged drains, low water pressure, and running toilets.
Left unresolved, plumbing issues can wreak havoc in a home. Leaks can lead to mold and mildew. These can cause a myriad of health issues for your tenants.
Plumbing leaks can also cause water damage to your property, which can get expensive.
To safeguard your property against plumbing issues, do the following:
- Make sure the plumbing system is properly ventilated
- Maintain water heaters
- Maintain pipe condition
- Protect drainage systems from blocking
Experts recommend inspecting plumbing systems once every two years.
This is another area where it pays to be proactive in maintaining your rental property. Electrical issues can be frustrating and sometimes hazardous, especially if not handled at the appropriate time.
Common electrical issues include frayed cords, overloaded outlets and power strips, faulty wiring, loose plugs, and outdated electrical panels. Old properties are especially prone to such issues.
So, when should you get an electrical inspection? If your home is at least 25 years old, then you should have it professionally inspected every few years. While most homes are built to withstand the test of time, nothing lasts forever. For newer homes, you may want to do an electrical inspection after about 10 years.
Signs that you need to schedule an electrical inspection include:
- Strange noises
- Tripping circuit breakers
- Hot switches or sockets
- Strange smell
- Flickering lights
4. Doors & Windows
Doors and windows play an important role in keeping occupants safe. An overwhelming majority of burglars enter homes through doors and windows. Nevada habitability law requires that landlords provide windows and doors that are in good repair.
When it comes to doors, you want to ensure that they are strong and sturdy.
The following are telltale signs that the front door requires a replacement:
- You can spot moisture in between glass panes
- There are dings and rust
- It’s weathered, warped, or cracked
- There is difficulty opening and closing it
- It has loose hinges
Windows are equally important in keeping potential intruders away. Be on the lookout for things like damaged windows, difficulty in operation, poor energy efficiency, and decaying window frames.
5. Floorings, Walls & Ceilings
You will want to pay attention to the flooring material of your investment property, as slips can be dangerous. It’s recommended to waterproof non-slip surfaces.
Also, how is the condition of the floor? Does it appear to be uneven or sloping? If so, then consider seeking expert foundation services.
As for the walls, check for signs of cracking. Bigger cracks can be signs of foundation issues. If you notice bubbling paint, peeling wallpaper, warped or stained walls, that can be a sign of water damage. Seek professional help from a licensed contractor as soon as you can.
When it comes to ceilings, firstly ensure that it’s at least 3 meters high. Preferably, choose a material that has a low thermal conductivity to safeguard your tenants against extreme heat.
6. Pest Infestation
This is one of the top concerns tenants have. As a landlord, renting out a property that is pest-infested certainly goes against the warranty of habitability.
Therefore, you’ll want to do everything possible to safeguard your property against bugs, rodents, termites, and other common pests that can pose a safety and health concern to your tenants.
A pest-infested property does not only inconvenience tenants, but it also causes progressive destruction to property.
Before you start renting out your property, make sure you hire pest control services. Also remember to do this between tenants.
7. Appliance Maintenance
Maintaining your appliances is also important in making sure your property meets basic safety standards. A damaged appliance can easily overheat or explode, putting your tenants in danger.
Common signs of appliance malfunctions include water leaks, poor appliance performance, burning smell, and sudden power changes. If you’ve noticed any of these issues, call expert help as soon as possible.
Now you know what you need to do to keep your property livable. A livable property isn’t only desirable, it’s also a fundamental tenant right. If you have a question or need expert help in managing your property, then look no further than Evolve Nevada.
We provide professional property management services to property owners in Reno, NV. Get in touch to learn more!