Investing in real estate, especially rental properties like multi-family residential housing, has historically been one of the best vehicles for building wealth in the United States, and the trend is growing. In fact, according to recent information published by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NHMC), more than 7.8 million households currently live in a rental home that contains 2-4 units, and more than 18.7 million more reside in rental homes with five or more units. If you are an investor focused on this growing multi-family housing sector and would like to make improvements in the way you manage your properties to make your investment strategy even more profitable, the following maintenance tips can help you improve safety for your tenants while helping to reduce overall repair costs for your rental units.
Improving security for tenants
Improving security measures for each of your properties is a great way to make tenants feel safer by preventing vandalism and burglary attempts that can damage properties and result in high repair costs. To do this effectively, make sure that each property features proper security lighting around the exterior, as well as in parking areas and along walkways between units. If your property is located in a high crime area, you may want to also consider hiring on-site security staff to improve tenant safety and help prevent property damage.
Preventing fire damage
Cutting risks for fire in a multi-family housing unit is an excellent way to improve tenant safety and prevent costly fire damage to your building. Since statistics show that kitchen fires are the cause of at least half of all residential home fires, it makes sense for investors to take maintenance steps to curb this problem in each unit. Good ways to do this include:
- making sure that each unit is equipped with a properly working cooking appliance that is inspected annually, replaced as needed, and includes a suitable exhaust hood to protect cabinetry above the range or stove
- equipping each unit's kitchen with portable fire extinguishers that are checked and refilled on schedule
- adding kitchen exhaust cleaning to your list of annual maintenance for each occupied unit
- making sure that the kitchen exhaust hoods are also cleaned after each tenant departs
It can also be helpful to post laminated copies of fire safety instructions on the inside of a cabinet door in each kitchen to assist tenants in the event that a cooking-related or other fire occurs in their unit. Tenants should also be given instruction in the use of fire extinguishers and shown where each one is located in their unit, as part of their initial rental process. Talk to a company like Universal Fire Equipment for more advice.