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Is Your Rental Property a Potential Hazard to Your Tenants?

Richmond Tenant Looking at Mold in His Rental Home

As a Richmond property manager, it is essential that your tenants feel safe and at ease in their rental property. Ensuring the safety of a tenant can reduce vacancies and increase a property’s cash flow. But some potentially dangerous circumstances can arise without your knowledge if you don’t take extra care. Let’s take a look at five of the most common household hazards that, if left unchecked, could cause your tenants’ serious illness or even death. To help ensure that your rental property does not pose a hazard to your tenants, it is essential to be aware of common household hazards and how to avoid them.

Toxic Mold

Molds grow in moist environments where food sources, such as cardboard or paper, are present. The first sign that most people typically notice when mold is present is typically its musty smell. There are numerous types of mold, the majority of which are unsightly but not particularly hazardous to humans. Stachybotrys, or black mold, on the other hand, can be poisonous. In extreme cases, it may cause anaphylactic shock, respiratory distress, and allergic reactions.

The good news is that it’s not too difficult to stop mold from developing in a rental property. Mold can be avoided by simply installing a dehumidifier in the basement, opening the windows, or running exhaust fans in steamy bathrooms. Think about teaching your tenants how to prevent mold and how to recognize its dangers. Regularly looking for mold in your home is another thing you should do. If the worst happens and you discover black mold, it’s crucial to call a specialist right away so they can safely remove it and address the moisture issue that initially caused the mold.


There is no question that asbestos is a serious issue, particularly for older rental properties. As long as the asbestos is found within walls or other enclosed areas, it is relatively safe, provided that it is not disturbed. If the walls of your rental property contain asbestos, you must make sure that your tenant is aware that they must not drill holes or make any other kind of openings in the walls, not even to hammer in a nail. Even small gaps could allow asbestos to enter a home and cause mesothelioma.

Only licensed professionals should perform asbestos removal. In order to avoid injury and asbestos-related illnesses, you should not remove asbestos yourself or allow a tenant to do so.

Lead Poisoning

Lead is another substance that could be dangerous and is often found in older rental homes. In older homes, lead paint was frequently used before it was outlawed in 1978. Even if you painted over the old paint, paint can flake off as homes age, exposing your tenants’ children, pets, and you to toxic lead. In some places, lead poisoning can also be caused by old pipes.

You should have the plumbing and water in your rental property thoroughly inspected for lead to prevent lead poisoning. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have your paint tested and removed by experts trained to do so safely if your property was built before 1978. Although painting over lead paint is a temporary solution, the only way to ensure that your tenants are not exposed to lead is to completely remove the old paint from all affected surfaces.


In the United States, house fires happen far too frequently. Unfortunately, fires in the home can be fatal. 2,620 civilians perish in home fires each year, which total more than 346,000 annually. Cooking fires are caused by oil and other ingredients, whereas dryer lint is the leading cause of laundry room fires. Other major causes of home fires include faulty appliances, electrical problems, and unattended candles.

Several precautions should be taken to prevent fires in your rental property. First, do everything possible to ensure that your rental property is devoid of electrical problems, and have the dryer vent cleaned annually. Second, provide working smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and other necessities while educating your tenants about fire safety. By taking these simple precautions, you can significantly reduce the likelihood that your rental property will catch fire.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a typical household risk. Burning wood, propane, gasoline, charcoal, and other fuels release carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas. Carbon monoxide can accumulate in a closed space and cause carbon monoxide poisoning when these fuels are used in appliances and engines. Headaches, nauseous symptoms, blurred vision, and confusion are symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can, in severe cases, result in permanent tissue damage or even death.

Proper maintenance and tenant education can help to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Regular maintenance is essential for fireplaces and appliances that use any of the above fuels. Install carbon monoxide detectors as well so that you and your tenants are made aware of any potential risks throughout your rental property. If your rental property has a garage or your tenants have a propane grill or heater, it’s a good idea to make sure they understand they must not leave a car running or use a propane device in an enclosed area. Fundamental education in safety could protect your tenants from illness and worse.

Guaranteeing the health and safety of your tenants is a difficult and time-consuming undertaking. Why not rely on professionals? At Real Property Management Sterling, our comprehensive property management and tenant relations programs are designed to keep both your property and your tenants safe. To learn more about the services we offer, call us at 802-861-6468 or contact us online today!

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