Anyone who owns property and rents it out knows that avoiding risks is extremely important. A good property manager will evaluate the potential risks in any home that he manages because he can be held just as liable for any harm as the property owner.
One of the biggest liabilities you have is tenant safety. You must go through the house and look for anything that could injure or harm your tenants. Pay attention to trip hazards, problems in the carpet that might make it dangerous and improperly installed electrical fixtures that might be there from a previous tenant. Checking the property carefully before a tenant moves in is important to avoid liability.
Security and accessibility is a major issue. Because there has been so much talk lately about bump keys and criminals being able to pick locks without a problem, we have decided at Blackbird Realty that all of our properties will include keyless deadbolts. These deadbolts slid out from the door, but there is no place to put a key in front of the door. So, when the tenants are in the property, they feel safe closing the door and throwing the deadbolt. We install these so absolutely no one can get into the property – not even the property manager with a pass key.
When it comes to avoiding liability, one of the best things you can do is to think about your liability when you are selecting a tenant. A good property manager will do a thorough screening of applicants to ensure you are getting a tenant who is not going to pose any risks to you as the property owner. Make sure there is a criminal background check. It is up to you to decide whether you want to rent your home to someone who has committed crimes against humanity or who is a convicted felon. At Blackbird, we have a policy of not renting to anyone with a criminal history. We don’t allow criminals to live in any of the properties we manage. They are not a protected class, and we can choose not to rent to them.
In addition to installing keyless deadbolts and performing comprehensive background checks on all potential tenants, we also watch out for water intrusion, leaks and mold. These situations can be dangerous to a tenant as well, and we want to limit any liability for the property owner.
Please contact us at Blackbird Realty if you would like to discuss additional ways that you can protect yourself from liability or risky situations. We look forward to talking with you.