Playing it Safe
One of the ways landlords encounter premise liability–“slip and fall” and related personal injury claims, is while showing properties to prospective tenants.
One reason for this is the property tends to be in transition, whether it’s a simple paint job or more serious repair work. It may have been some time since the landlord visited the existing tenant.
To play it safe, anticipate any hazards, and if possible, schedule tours during safer times.
Schedule showings late enough in the morning that sidewalks are shoveled and slippery hazards removed.
Check in with the existing tenant to be sure pets are away from the unit
and and there are no boxes or furniture blocking exits or stacked precariously.
Stay in close contact with any contractors or maintenance workers who may be working on the property, and make certain items like stair railings are in place and property functioning.
Watch for construction materials, debris, and equipment that may be located in the rental unit.
Don’t show the property if it has just been treated for pests or has other fumes.
It is always best to delay a showing for a few hours or days than to risk a lawsuit that could eat up profits.
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.