liability-204x300Every business has some in-built inherent risks, and there are some unique situations that you may encounter in the form of liability. Liability in real estate can be explained as the landlord being held responsible for the damage or injury of tenants or visitors due to negligence or failure to stick to standard procedures. Liability lawsuits can be filed against you, the landlord, and you can be ordered by the court to pay a settlement to the injured party. Most of these injuries and other liabilities can be easily avoided by just keeping the homes you rent out safe.

Here is a safety checklist

Alarms and detectors: Invest in good quality fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and alarms. It is mandatory in most places, but even if they aren’t, it only makes good business sense to have them installed.

Ice and snow: If you have homes in places that are prone to ice, make sure you and your tenants are aware of who is responsible to clear it out. In most states, the common areas and walkways have to be kept ice free by the landlord.

Electrical maintenance: It is important to have a properly functioning electrical layout with all possible safety features like trip fuses and circuit breakers.

HVAC: If you have inbuilt heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in your property, keep them in good working order. Summer and winter months can put a strain on the working of these systems, so service, repair and replace anything that may seem to be troublesome beforehand.

Sometimes, you may have unreasonable tenants or visitors who like to blame you for everything and to try and sue you. Liability insurance is required, so do not hold back on getting one, as even if you do win the case, it may cost you a few thousand dollars and a lot of time.

Image courtesy of [sippakorn] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net