Providing a safe and habitable rental home is your first responsibility as a landlord when you’re renting out multi-family homes in Columbus. You want your tenants to feel safe and you want your property to be in good condition, where accidents and incidents are unlikely to occur.
You already know that you have to avoid mold and lead based paint. You’re required to provide access to hot water and electricity. When you’re renting out a home in a multi-family building, make sure you’re doing more than the bare legal minimum. Take some extra steps to provide a property that’s safe so your tenants are happy and willing to renew their lease agreements.
Provide Ample Exterior Lighting
Lighting is crucial, especially when we’re talking about stairways, hallways, garages, parking lots, and spaces outside of the building. Make sure there is more than enough light for tenants who need to walk from the parking area to the building. If streetlights are scarce, install your own bright lights on the sides of the building and in the parking lots. Whether you have carports or garages or an outdoor lot, it must be well-lit for tenants to feel secure. This will also cut down on any potential criminal activity. Motion lights can often work well if you want to conserve electricity and not have lights on 24 hours a day.
Secure Doors and Access to the Building
Secured doors will ensure that no one unwelcome is permitted to walk into the building or reach your tenant’s home. Smaller buildings with just a handful of units might have an extra key that’s provided to residents for the outside of the building. If this is the case, replace that key every once in a while. You’ll also want to replace the exterior key if there’s a security situation involving a former tenant or you’re suspicious of unauthorized people having a copy of that key.
Larger buildings may have a key fob or a security card that’s easily scanned to gain access to the building. Keep track of who has these and make sure you collect them when a tenant moves out.
Provide Tenant Safety Education
Help tenants to feel empowered with where they live and their responsibility for personal safety. You could provide a Move-In Fact Sheet with some tips on how to stay safe. Include emergency phone numbers for the closest police precinct, hospital, and fire department. Tenants often hesitate to report strange things going on, but you should encourage them to speak up if there’s someone loitering in the hallways or trying to get into the building. Security and Alarm Systems
If a tenant wants to install an alarm system or a video camera outside their door, you should consider allowing them to do that. At Solutions for Real Estate, we will allow it with the property owner’s approval and we’ll allow tenants to get it installed and activated. You want your tenants to feel like you support them taking control of their own security.
We’d be happy to provide more advice on keeping your property safe in a multi-unit building. If you’d like to talk about this topic or anything pertaining to Columbus property management, please contact us at Solutions for Real Estate.