The list of potential landlord liabilities in Phoenix, AZ is long, and you need to be aware of latent issues that can cause problems for you in your rental properties. Most of the liability issues lately seem to come from bed bugs. You also need to be careful about your smoke alarm installation and your process for changing the keys between tenants.
Controlling Bed Bugs
Many property managers in the Phoenix area have reported that bed bugs are becoming more of a concern in rental homes. These pests aren’t born in your property. Tenants can carry them into a home from staying in a hotel or at a friend’s house. The bugs can travel with luggage from airplanes, trains, and taxi cabs. You are required to disclose any bed bug problems that you’ve experienced at your property. If they are discovered, you’ll need to have the property professionally treated. Make sure you document the treatment to protect yourself. Usually, you don’t know you have these pests until it is a full-on infestation. Check the property for bed bugs between tenants, stay current on your pest control treatments, and always tell tenants about any bed bug problems and what you did to rectify them.
Testing Smoke Alarms
Most landlords are pretty proactive when it comes to replacing smoke detector batteries. You hear them squealing, and you know the batteries need to be changed. However, new batteries do not guarantee that the smoke detector is functional. You need to test that alarm, and the best way to do that is with canned smoke. Spray the smoke and see if the alarm goes off. It’s a good idea to test your smoke alarms between tenants or when you’re conducting an inspection. If a catastrophe occurs and there’s a fire at your property, you’ll want to be able to document that you tested the alarms regularly.
Changing the Locks
Tenants don’t want to move into a property that hasn’t been rekeyed. There’s no way to know who has a copy of that key, and it’s dangerous. Make sure you rekey the home as soon as your current tenant moves out. That way, your new tenant will move in feeling safe and secure because it’s a new key that no one else has. It’s not an expensive thing to do, and you won’t have the liability of someone with a key letting themselves into the property.
Avoiding liability will help you do a better job of managing your property. If you have any questions about this, contact HomeQwik.