Being a landlord comes with its share of risks, some of which are unavoidable, others can be reduced by simply asking your tenants to do their fair share when it comes to protecting your investment. You might think most of these are common sense, but your tenants might not realize these are things they can easily do and should be taking care of on a regular basis. Consider these examples:
Common Fire Risks
Damage or destruction by fire is one of the most common causes of damage to any home. Here are five examples of fire hazards that are easily overcome:
- Dirty kitchen stove – this includes the over, drip pans, and especially the area under the burners where grease can build up and suddenly ignite. This can happen on both electric and gas stoves.
- Using electric heaters – electric heaters are fine as long as you don’t place them too close to things that can easily catch burn.
- Electric outlets that are exposed – this includes outlets with broken covers, plugs that are not fully inserted.
- Charges – we all leave our chargers plugged in, those for cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.
- Candles – no one wants to say your tenants can’t use candles, but they need to use them responsibly and never leave them burning when they are asleep or leave the house.
It only takes minutes to reduce or eliminate these risks, but they can save everyone, including your insurance company a fortune, and they could save lives.
Common Water Damage Risks
The Need for Routine Inspection
Both you and your tenants are responsible for keeping your property free from water damage. Some of the most common places to look for signs of water leaks inside of your home are:
- The hot water tank
- All shower enclosures, sinks, and bathtubs
- All exposed pipes
- All toilets
- All appliances that use water (dishwasher, washing machine, icemaker)
- All faucets
Leaks on the Outside of the Property
- Keep all gutters clear of debris and blockages
- Keep all downspouts clear of obstructions
- Installing a complete crawlspace encapsulation system, if the property has a crawlspace
- Installing a complete basement waterproofing system, if the property has a basement
- Installing a sump pump and a water alert system to alert you in the event of flooding
No matter what kind of water leak you or your tenant discover, they need to be fixed as soon as possible to reduce the risk of severe damage.
No matter what type of rental property you own, there is always the risk that it could become damaged or destroyed by fire, water, or any number of other disastrous events. The only thing you can do is teach your tenants to keep an eye on things, perform routine inspections, and have the best possible insurance coverage just in case. Beyond this, the only other thing you can do is keep your fingers crossed and do your best to make sure you have tenants who truly care about the home they are living in.