Being a landlord is far from just fun and games. It’s not enough to have a place for rent and call it a day. Aside from actually equipping the home, you also need to make sure that your house/apartment meets the safety standards. This isn’t your good will towards the new tenant; you’re actually legally required to pass the safety regulations. That said, it’s helpful to have a comprehensive safety checklist that can help you with the inspection. Also, you need to protect your property and investment.
Electrical Safety Regulations
Start off the checklist with examining the safety of the electricity and wiring on your property. Obviously, you should check whether every outlet and appliance works properly. Also, make sure that the fuse box is functional as well, with adequate overcurrent protection. Most importantly, you should do professional electrical inspection every couple of years. In this case, always hire reputable electrician for the job.
Fire Safety Regulations
For starters, it’s crucial that you provide smoke, carbon monoxide and fire alarms in your rental property. Don’t forget to test these out properly to make sure they actually work. Adequate fire escape route is also rather important, but if you’re renting an apartment in a building that you don’t own, this is something that the building owner should deal with. However, you should do your best to improve fire protection in your rental. You can do this by installing effective fire ducts in the kitchen and choosing “fire safe” furniture and furnishings. Also, every rental should have its own fire extinguisher.
Gas Safety Regulations
In case your rental has gas appliances, it’s necessary to do an annual inspection and provide the copy of the report to your tenants. Even gas cookers have to be checked and approved, let alone boilers and heaters. Also, you should always go to registered engineers for this type of an inspection.
Get to Know Your Tenants
Your landlord safety checklist is not just about keeping the property safe for the tenant but also making sure that you’re letting the place to the responsible person as well. In that respect, you have all the right to reference the tenant and ask for information you find important. This can include previous address, employment, bank statement and even the recommendations from the previous landlord. Of course, do your best to meet with potential tenants face-to-face, as this will allow you to get the impression of the person you’ll be letting your apartment to.
Craft a Tenancy Agreement
In order to protect yourself, your property and the tenant, you should always create a tenancy agreement. This is a legal document that will contain all the necessary information such as essential data about landlord and tenant, the right to receive rent and the tenant to live in your property while paying the said rent. The duration of the tenancy as well as the way you have decided to go with rent payments should also be included in this agreement. Luckily, even if you don’t know how to craft a tenancy agreement on your own, you can use local rental agencies or get premade online forms.
Get a Landlord Insurance
You never know what might happen and how things could go wrong when you let out the property. Sometimes, accidents and damage can occur which are completely out of landlord’s and tenant’s control. Therefore, it might be necessary to proceed with costly repairs, which is why landlord insurance can make a world of difference for your finances and security.
Conduct an Inventory
It’s surprising just how many landlords tend to neglect this aspect of renting a property. But if you want to protect your investment and rental, you should always conduct a thorough inventory. Basically, make a list of every single item you have provided in the rental for the tenant to use, as well as the condition that item is in. You might even want to follow up your list with pictures. This will make things a lot easier to handle once the tenant has to move out and the question of deposit arises.
With a safety checklist, you can make sure that the property you want to rent is perfectly safe for the tenant but protect yourself legally as well. Of course, make it a point to keep your rental clean and tidy so that the space actually looks attractive and healthy to the potential tenants. It might not be legally required, but dusty and dirty environment is not something that can get you far in this business.