As a Sacramento landlord, there is only so much you can do to childproof your rental property. While most of that responsibility falls on the parents, there are still some things you can do to keep children safe on your property and (consequently) avoid legal drama. Make sure that before your rental property is occupied by a family with children you do everything you can to keep them safe. Here are some tips for childproofing your rental property.
If there is a pool on your rental property, it should be kept inside of a fence to prevent child safety hazards. Additionally, you should add whatever warning signs might be mandated in your area. If you want to take more safety measures surrounding the pool in your area, consider adding a cover to keep kids from falling in when no one is supervising them. You could even affix a security alarm to the fenced-in area that tenants can disarm when they are swimming in the pool with and supervising their children.
The fences that you use on the property should prevent easy climbing for small children. Chain link fences are ill-advised as they create easy footholds for small feet. Any fences with bars that are more than four inches apart should not be used to fence off safety hazards either. If you are installing a fence to keep kids from highly-trafficked roads or to keep them away from other safety hazards, use a fence that cannot be climbed easily.
Install window locks in your rental property to prevent children from falling out of the windows. Small children can be seriously injured from ground-level falls, so even the windows on the ground level should be affixed with locks. This is good practice for tenant safety in general.
Make sure that every part of the handrails that line the stairs in your rental property are properly locked in place so that they cannot be pulled loose by a child, leading to a fall down the stairs. Again, this is good practice for preventing liability even without considering the children who might stay in your rental property. Tenants may want to install some kind of gate for further fall prevention, but you can leave that to the renters.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You are legally required to make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working order. These detectors are essential to the safety of tenants, particularly children who are more easily affected by carbon monoxide poisoning, and who need help escaping in the event of a fire.
Further Reducing Landlord Liability
You can make every effort to maintain tenant safety and still find yourself in the middle of a liability lawsuit. What further actions can you take to prevent that from happening? Hire professionals to help you draft your lease agreement. This service can be provided by lawyers or by a property management company (who has likely already seen a lawyer about the lease that they will provide you.) At Keyrenter Sacramento, we can assist in leasing and a variety of other landlord tasks. If you feel like you are in over your head with your rental property, give us a call today!