Landlords Face Real Dangers at Halloween

ghostsCostumes aren’t the only spooky thing about Halloween. Rental property owners face some real dangers this time of year.

Here are a few tips to avoid some of the bigger Halloween catastrophes:

Remember that Halloween is not just for kids — and your property management rules can’t single out children or families. Rules must apply to all tenants, or you may be accused of discrimination.

Fire danger climbs dramatically around Halloween. Jack-o-lanterns illuminated with candles are a serious risk to tenants and property alike. Make sure no open flames are left unattended, or placed near areas where people in costumes may be walking past.

The fire risk is compounded when the jack-o-lanterns are placed in closed-in spaces, like near a window with curtains, or in a homemade haunted house created by hanging sheets or blankets to darken the area.

Other Halloween risks include slip and fall accidents as revelers get entangled in their own costumes, snagged on stairwells or caught in elevator doors.

Some residents choose not to participate in Halloween. Work out a system, like a one-knock policy or a “do-not-disturb” door card so residents who aren’t participating in Halloween are left in peace.

Remind residents of noise, party, alcohol, smoking, parking or other rules that apply every day of the year–but might get ignored as tenants get caught up in the holiday fun. Party complaints can lead to tenant disputes, police intervention and even the need to evict tenants who break the rules.
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