If you own a rental property, you already know that making the space safe for your tenants is a top priority. Safety efforts include handling maintenance issues as well as making home improvements. Here are some upgrades to consider that can enhance safety for renters:
- Add smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and sprinkler systems. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a smoke alarm installation guide and other tips.
- Install a security alarm system and consider adding web-enabled cameras. Smart doorbells with cameras are also a good security addition.
- Enhance exterior lighting to make sure there is ample illumination all the way around the perimeter of the property. Add motion sensors to lights around walkways, steps, and doorways to trigger lighting when someone approaches.
- Make sure all exterior doors have deadbolt locks, and change the locks after each tenant vacates the property.
- Add interior lighting around stairs and hallways to help prevent accidents, such as tripping or falling, in dark spaces.
- Put rails on both sides of stairways instead of just one side.
- Retrofit wood-burning fireplaces with gas inserts.
- Equip each second-story bedroom with a fire ladder.
- Install tub and shower grab bars in bathrooms.
- Flood and freeze sensors or automatic water shut-off devices can help prevent or mitigate problems associated with burst pipes.
- Add electrical outlet covers or convert to tamper-resistant outlets. Increasing the number of electrical outlets in rooms can help reduce extension cord use and outlet overloading.
- Provide a portable fire extinguisher along with operating instructions.
- Install an automatic garage door opener. In addition to keeping tenants safely in their vehicles at night and during bad weather, an automatic garage door opener encourages occupants to keep the door down, providing an extra layer of security.
- Add GFCI outlets to help prevent ground faults in the kitchen, bathrooms, and wherever required by code.
- Build a backyard fence and equip all gates with locks.
- Trim back overgrown bushes, shrubbery, and other landscape features from windows and doors.
Owning rental property can be a lot of responsibility. An HSA Home Warranty can help with repair responsibilities by offering protection for some of the property’s most critical system components and appliances which can break down over time. An HSA Home Warranty also offers a reliable repair resource to call when covered items malfunction due to normal wear and tear, which can help relieve you of the responsibility of finding and scheduling dependable technicians. HSA Home Warranty coverage can also help you budget and control covered repair or replacement expenses, which can be a big relief. Talk to your tax professional to find out if home warranty coverage on your rental property qualifies as a tax-deductible operating expense.