One way to reduce tenant turnover is by creating a space where your tenant feels safe and happy. From ensuring their home is habitable, to providing tips for neighbor interactions, there are many ways you can help your tenants feel safe and happy. With some advice from professional Atlanta rental property management, property owners can promote safe and peaceful neighborhoods.
A Property Owner’s Rights and Responsibilities
Across the nation, property owners are responsible for keeping their rental properties safe and habitable. In Georgia, safe and habitable translates to maintaining the structure of the building, keeping utilities such as heating and electricity in working order, and ensuring your tenants have safe access to the rental property. From a practical perspective, here is what these rules look like:
- Address maintenance issues that are related to the structure of the building, such as a leaking roof. If you fail to fix structural issues your tenant has several options. They can move out and claim a “constructive eviction”, they can repair and deduct the cost from their monthly rent payments, they can call in a local housing code inspector, or they can sue the property owner for damages.
- Georgia property owners must ensure the electricity, heating, and plumbing in their rental units are in working order. This means if the heater, AC, or electricity stops working it is the property owner’s responsibility to fix it. If a pipe bursts, cutting off the water supply, that is also the property owner’s responsibility. They can fix the problem themselves, contact their Atlanta rental property management company for help, or contact an outside vendor for the repair.
- Safe access to the rental unit is extremely important. According to the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook, “Landlords must take ordinary care to prevent foreseeable third-party criminal acts on tenants. For example, if there is a broken parking lot light and the tenant is concerned about safety, give written notice of the problem to the property manager and owner and state the safety concern because of the defect. The landlord may be liable if someone is later injured because there was an unsafe condition that the landlord knew about and did not repair.”
Additional Ways to Keep Your Rental Home Safe and Habitable
The above rights and responsibilities are a baseline of what property owners must provide to their tenants. However, experienced property managers will tell you it benefits both tenants and landlords to go above and beyond by providing additional safety features. Talk to your rental property management Atlanta experts about adding the following safety features to your rental home.
- Fire Prevention: Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers will protect both your tenants and your home in the event of a fire. Smoke detectors should be placed outside of each bedroom and in living rooms. Fire extinguishers should be located in the kitchen, and on each floor of a multi-story house. Replace smoke detectors every 10 years, and fire extinguishers every 5-15 years. For more tips on installing and maintaining smoke detectors visit The National Fire Protection Association’s website.
- Door and Window Locks: The doors and windows around your rental property should be secure. Ensure every exterior door and window has a working lock. Install deadbolt locks on exterior doors if they are not already present.
- Exterior Door View: Make sure your tenant can see who is knocking at their door without opening it. Install a peephole or window in the front door, or a window to the side of the door.
- No Spare Keys: One of the benefits of working with an Atlanta rental property management company is always having a place to store an extra key in case of an emergency. Your property manager can take care of spare keys so they are not sitting under the front door mat awaiting burglars. However, there are now options for keypad front door locks allowing your tenant to be completely keyless.
- Outdoor Floodlights: Floodlights are a low-cost way to provide extra security at your rental home. There are many options for outdoor lights including motion sensors, light sensors, and lights on timers.
- Trim Landscaping: Bushes or overgrown flower beds are the perfect places for a burglar to hide in the dark. To keep your rental home safe encourage your tenant to keep the landscaping under control, especially near the doors and windows.
- Security System: Home security has come a long way in the past few years. Most security systems now include window and door alarms and cameras. Top of the line equipment can even open your garage door remotely if smoke or carbon monoxide is detected in order to get fresh air inside. However, security systems are not a requirement for rental property management. Atlanta property owners should consider if the monthly cost, which is usually $30-$60, is worth the added safety.
In order to keep your rental home habitable, respond quickly to your tenant’s maintenance requests, and encourage them to submit requests as soon as they notice an issue. Your tenant needs to do his or her part in keeping the property habitable. Consider sending quarterly emails with maintenance reminders such as cleaning out gutters and covering outdoor faucets before the weather turns cold. We recommend performing regular property inspections, either quarterly or biannually. Regular inspections are important for several reasons. They will allow you to monitor the state of your rental home and address lease compliance issues. When taking a look around the rental home you may see maintenance issues your tenant has not noticed yet. Finally, you can perform preventative maintenance that will save you money in the long run. For more information about performing cost-effective maintenance visit this page.
How Atlanta Rental Property Management Promotes Safe Neighborhoods
Feeling safe and happy in a rental home has a lot to do with being comfortable in your neighborhood. How do property owners promote safe neighborhoods? Even if you do not live in or around the Atlanta metro area there are some ways you can encourage neighborhood development around your rental property.
- Know Your Neighbors: If you live close to your rental property take some time to meet the neighbors. Let them know you are a hands-on property owner, or give them your property manager’s information. Tell the neighbors you want to help your tenants create a good living environment. Encourage your tenants to get to know their neighbors as well. Share phone numbers in case of an emergency.
- Street Lighting: Street lights discourage criminal activity. If your street does not have adequate lighting consider installing your own around your rental property. If a street light goes out rental property management, Atlanta property owner, or tenant can call 311 to report it.
- Get Outside: Spending time outside on your street is one of the best ways to encourage neighborhood development. Is there a safe place to spend time outside your rental property? If not, ask your tenant what additions you could add to make it easier to spend time outside.
- National Night Out: According to their website, “National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.” National Night Out typically happens on the first Tuesday in August and includes “block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.” To find out more about National Night Out, including which Georgia neighborhoods host events, visit their website here. Remind your tenants about National Night Out each year.
Getting out in the community and meeting the neighbors leads to safer, happier neighborhoods. However, according to the Pew Research Center, “a majority of Americans (57%) say they know only some of their neighbors; far fewer (26%) say they know most of them.” Communicate to your tenant how important it is to foster neighborhood development.
Atlanta Rental Property Management You Can Trust
At Specialized Property Management Atlanta, we have almost 30 years of experience managing single family rental homes all over the Atlanta metro area. Our property owners know they can trust us to keep their rental homes safe and their tenants happy. Our proven processes will turn your investment into a success. But don’t take our word for it, read what our clients have to say:
“Specialized Property Management is the most efficient and courteous property management company I’ve worked with thus far. The staff is responsive, honest and friendly. Jarrod Cook and his Atlanta team are true professionals and I plan to refer them to my co-workers and friends” – Janelle C.
“…what really distinguishes SPM (and prompted me to write this review) is their customer service. It. Is. Excellent. My account with them was for a SINGLE property. They treated me like I was their largest account, and I always felt like they were on top of even the smallest issues. SPM didn’t ask for my trust … they earned it.” – Steve P.
For rental property management Atlanta property owners trust from start to finish, call the experienced professionals at Specialized Property Management Atlanta. Schedule a rental quote today by calling 404-596-8454, or use the contact form on this page.