It’s safe to say that almost everyone is interested in making more money, whether they want to save more for retirement, pay off their house early, or simply want to go on vacation. Many Dallas area individuals are finding that owning rental property is a great way to increase their income. While owning Dallas rental property is a great investment strategy and can bring in a substantial amount of money each month, it can also be risky. Oftentimes new investors don’t realize all of the things that can go wrong with their rental that can cost them quite a bit of money. If you are considering Dallas property management there are some things you should know about keeping your tenants safe from common hazards like house fires. Below we share tips for lowering your risk and protecting your property and tenants.
Protect Yourself From Risk With Good Insurance
Of course you wouldn’t dream of living in a home that is uninsured, right? According to the website Investopedia, “The basic goal behind buying insurance is to make you financially whole following a loss. You agree to pay a small certain fee to an insurance company today, in exchange for a guarantee from the company that it will bear the burden of a large but uncertain loss in the future.” Well, you should have the same mindset towards the Dallas rental homes you own. It’s pertinent to have good insurance policies that cover your rental properties; otherwise you may find yourself losing money in the event of an accident.
According to experienced property management, Dallas property owners should do more than just carry their own property insurance. If you’re really serious about lowering your risks, then you should require your tenants to purchase renter’s insurance. Renters insurance is very inexpensive and it provides more coverage for the tenant in the event of an incident. Since tenants can make claims on their renters insurance if something happens to their rental and/or possessions, then you won’t have to worry as much about being held liable for the damage.
Take Care of Potential Hazards Around the House
The majority of cases filed against rental property owners have to do with negligence, either by the owner himself or his property manager. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, make sure that regular inspections are done with each property you own and that all hazards are taken care of immediately. The safety and security of tenants is a top priority to our Dallas property management. That is one reason we perform regular property inspections and routine maintenance. If you aren’t sure what to look for during a property inspection here are a few tips:
- Take a look around the outside your rental unit. You can get a quick idea where your property may need some safety attention. Overgrown bushes, especially those up against the home, can be a perfect place for unwanted animals and burglars to hide. Cutting back overgrown shrubs and cleaning up the landscaping around the property can increase curb appeal, discourage potential accidents, and prevent rodents from setting up camp. Our property managers install adequate outside lighting as a good measure against potential lurkers. Motion sensor lights give a quick flash of light when coming home in the dark. Always repair stairways immediately if you notice they are cracked as they can become a tripping hazard. Rain gutters and drains need to be cleared of leaves and trash to function properly. Always check for exposed electrical wires as these present a fire and safety hazard.
- For excellent property management, Dallas property owners should ensure the inside of the rental house is safe as well. When a tenant moves out always rekey the locks, and reset the code if you have a keyless entry door lock. Many places have laws about this, requiring new locks on rentals before new tenants move in. Always install, and frequently replace batteries in your home’s detectors such as smoke, carbon monoxide and radon detectors. A list of all local emergency agencies or neighborhood watch groups should be provided to the tenant at the lease signing as well.
- You or your tenant can take further steps toward safety by installing a security system. These systems are even more valuable when linked directly to local police and fire departments. Many systems require startup costs as well as a monthly fee. Oftentimes property owners will agree to pay the startup costs if the tenant agrees to pay the monthly fee. Make sure any such agreement is included in your lease.
Maintaining a property is an ongoing process for property owners and Dallas property management companies. But regular maintenance is always easier and less expensive than big repairs caused by neglect. Always keep in mind the legal responsibility you have to safety and your tenants. As a property owner you are required to make repairs if the condition of your property affects your tenant’s health and safety. To learn more about keeping your property safe through regular maintenance and inspections visit this post.
Protecting Your Rental Property From a Fire
Safety issues change with the seasons and weather. With fall in full swing, and winter closing in many places around the nation are experiencing frigid temperatures. Property management is stressful enough without having to worry about your rental property going up in flames. Now is a good time to remind tenants about proper usage of fireplaces within rental homes. It is imperative that when a unit has a fireplace, property owners make sure their tenants know how to use it properly. The National Fire Protection Association reports that nearly half of all home fires occur in the months of December-February and are caused by fireplaces within the home. According to Specialized Property Management Dallas tenant education is the best way to avoid destructive house fires. In addition, regular maintenance of your fireplace is a must. Have the chimney inspected on an annual basis to ensure there is no creosote buildup. Even if the fireplace is a gas unit, don’t skip the inspection, it could mean the difference between life and death
Of course, there are plenty of other fire risks lurking around a typical Dallas home. Don’t let common fire hazards threaten your rental home. To protect your tenants and your property review the following tips with your tenants:
- Check Your Smoke Alarms: Are you hearing that annoying beep all night? Time to replace those smoke detector batteries! Smoke detectors, (especially those outside of bedrooms) are a must for preventing fires. The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing your smoke alarm batteries as needed and changing the alarm out about every ten years to keep them working effectively.
- Purchase One Or More Fire Extinguishers: Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t own a fire extinguisher. For effective Dallas property management your rental home should have at least one fire extinguisher. Since a lot of fires are started in the kitchen, put an extinguisher under the sink for easy accessibility. If your rental home is a two-story, it’s a good idea to have an extinguisher on the upper level as well.
- Blow Out That Flame: Yes, the smell of pine trees is a great smell to have wafting through your home around Christmas time. But holiday candles are the second most common cause of fire. Make sure you know where all the lit candles are around your home and be sure to blow them out before you go to bed, leave on an errand, etc. Consider a candle warmer if you are especially forgetful.
- Plan Your Escape Route: An escape route is an excellent preparation tool everyone should have. If your rental property is a two-story home, tenants should have a plan in place to make it down to the lower level because fire rises upward as it spreads. In a one story home, you should still have an escape plan and a meeting place in case there are multiple family members living in the rental property. You or your Dallas property management company should talk to your tenants about the importance of a fire escape route.
- Don’t Leave The Kitchen: With the holiday season quickly approaching parties and dinners will become commonplace. If you plan on hosting family and friends remember to keep a close eye on the oven and stove at all times. If you’re preparing a complicated meal and need a break from the heat in the kitchen, ask a friend or family member to watch anything that is boiling or frying. Also, keep any flammable items (including decorations) out of the kitchen.
Protect Your Investment With Specialized Property Management Dallas
Dallas residential property management is about more than just collecting the monthly rent. It’s about educating and protecting your tenants in case of an emergency. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the day-to-day needs of your rental property remember Specialized Property Management Dallas is here to help. To see a full list of services visit this page. Call us today at 214-233-7572 for a professional management quote.