Protecting Your Rental Investment: The Importance of Annual Safety Inspections - Article Banner

There are many ways for you to protect your investment. You’ll need to make sure you have enough insurance. You’ll need to screen residents well, so you aren’t risking late or missing rental payments. Preventative and routine maintenance will be important. You’ll also want to protect your property by conducting annual safety inspections. Not only does this ensure your investment remains habitable, profitable, and in good condition, but it also allows you to protect the tenants who are renting it. 

Safety inspections are important, and today we’re talking about why they’re necessary, what they look like, and how you can make them more effective. 

Identify Safety Hazards

The most important reason you’ll conduct an annual safety inspection is to look for potential safety hazards. This is your opportunity to get inside the property and look for dangers such as: 

  • Faulty wiring. Are there flickering lights or sparks when an outlet is used? You want to make sure your electrical systems aren’t in danger of starting a fire or shocking your residents. 
  • Gas leaks. If you have gas appliances, you’ll want to make sure there isn’t a smell of gas or any suspicious activity in the way those appliances turn on. 
  • Doors and windows that don’t lock, open, or close properly. 
  • Loose handrails. 
  • Parts of carpet or flooring that are beginning to pull up in corners.
  • Potential trip and fall hazards.
  • Smoke and CO detectors

These are hazards your tenants might not notice because they’re not looking for them. And, if you have not been inside of the property in a while, you might not have noticed them earlier. 

By conducting regular inspections, you can address safety hazards promptly and prevent any accidents or injuries from occurring. Not only does this help protect your tenants, but it also protects your rental investment from deterioration, and it prevents the risk of potentially expensive legal battles.

Comply with State and Local Regulations

Florida is a fairly landlord-friendly state, but there are still habitability standards that need to be met. Tampa and other local municipalities have their own codes and regulations that require compliance as well. By conducting annual safety inspections, you can make sure the fencing around the pool in your single-family rental home meets all the legal safety requirements, or the ground fault circuit interrupters on outlets in wet areas are still functioning properly and the smoke detectors are working.

Failure to comply with any laws can result in fines and legal action. If you’re not paying attention to those pool safety requirements or the need for smoke detectors in your rental property, you could be putting lives in danger. This is not a risk any rental property owner should be willing to take. 

Maintain Tenant Trust and Satisfaction

Tampa Bay residents expect to live in a well maintained and safe property. Conducting annual safety inspections helps assure tenants that you are committed to maintaining their home and ensuring their safety and well-being. This translates to an increased level of tenant satisfaction and even better tenant retention. 

These safety inspections are also a good opportunity to check in with your tenant and have a conversation. Confirm that they feel safe. Educate them, if you can, on the importance of keeping doors locked even when they’re home and the need to report maintenance issues as soon as they’re noticed. 

Look for Potential Safety Upgrades

Annual inspections that are specific to the safety of your investment property can also provide an opportunity for you to identify areas in which you can make upgrades to the security of your rental property.

For example, video doorbells are increasingly popular with renters in the Tampa Bay area. They like having the ability to see who is at the front door before they answer it. They can also see who is at their home when they’re not at home themselves. By downloading an app and syncing the camera with their phone, they can make recordings and track package deliveries. This makes them feel safer and more secure.

Protect Your Tampa Bay Rental Investment

Property damage and legal battles that result from safety hazards can be costly and frustrating. They’re also avoidable, especially when you’re committed to conducting annual safety inspections. Thorough inspections will cover both the interior and exterior of the property, helping you identify areas that need immediate attention or will soon need attention. This allows you to come up with a plan for repair or replacements. 

As you know, regular maintenance and inspections will increase the lifespan of your property and its functions. This is an excellent way to protect your asset while eliminating risks related to tenant safety. 

Prepare for Hurricane Season 

Hurricane SeasonAnother great reason to conduct an annual safety inspection is that you can prepare yourself, your residents, and your property for an approaching storm season. In Tampa, the threat of tropical weather and hurricanes is real. When you’re inspecting your rental property, you should always be thinking about how everything would hold up in high winds and heavy rains. 

If you conduct your inspection right before hurricane season, in the late spring or early summer, you can make sure that there aren’t any dangers that would make storm damage more likely. Make sure the trees are trimmed back from the roof. Check your hurricane shutters if you have them. Look for loose items around the property that could easily become projectiles. Have your roof inspected so pieces of it aren’t likely to fly off during a big storm. 

At Hoffman Realty, we prioritize safety in every rental home we manage. 

It’s essential to conduct annual safety inspections that will help identify potential safety hazards, comply with state and local regulations, maintain tenant trust and satisfaction, avoid liability, identify potential upgrades, and protect your rental investment. 

As a real estate investor, you undoubtedly want to do everything right. If you’re having trouble finding the time or the tools to conduct these inspections, reach out to a Tampa Bay property manager. We’d be happy to help. Contact our team at Hoffman Realty.