As a landlord, the safety of your tenant is a major driving force in your property management being successful. If your tenants are happy, it goes without saying that you will most likely be just as happy. For a property manager, working to keep your tenants well cared for is almost second nature, and in most cases there are no extra considerations that must to be put in place for this to be accomplished. However, with elderly tenants, there are a few considerations, which have to be made to ensure that they are always being kept safe and secure. With the onset of old age, it becomes harder for people to accomplish some of the tasks that they could perform when they were young and spry. For this reason, a good property manager has to consider how to keep their elderly tenants safe. Here are some of the ways this can be accomplished:
Have Emergency Contact Information Handy
It is important for property managers to always have the emergency contact information of their elderly tenants readily accessible. This makes it easier for them to reach the tenant’s PCP (primary care physician) or a family member in the event of a life-threatening situation. Elderly tenants require additional care and attention as compared to regular tenants. As such, it is always a good idea to consistently check up on them and make sure that they are comfortable with their living situation. In addition to this, make sure that you provide your contact information to all parties involved. This allows them to reach you if they cannot reach the elderly tenant. These acts help create a safety net around your tenant and make it much easier for help to be available when needed.
Increase Units and Complex Safety
Additional safety measures are never a bad thing to have in place. These safety measures work exceedingly well to prevent any accidents or injuries. The necessity of these safety measures increases a hundredfold when you are housing elderly tenants. Elderly tenants are more prone to slip and fall, so it is imperative that property managers work to mitigate this possibility. In doing so, they reduce the chance of one of their tenants being injured or suing them for safety negligence.
There are several ways that a property manager can increase the safety of their unit or complex. The first way is to make sure that all walkways, stairwells, and hallways within the property are well lit, cleared of clutter, and easily accessible. In addition to this, make sure that stairs and elevated platforms come equipped with railings and support banisters, which will make them much easier to scale for those who are not so agile. In the instance that your tenant has a carpet as part of their unit, make sure that it is placed securely into the ground to prevent the possibility of the carpet slipping as they move across it. This will help reduce the possibility of them falling down while on the move.
Safety Plans And Evacuations
It is imperative that your housing complex has appropriate safety plans in place, and this includes fire safety plans etc. as well as evacuation routes. It is necessary that your elderly tenants are briefed on the safety plans, which are in place to protect them, and instructed on how they are supposed to evacuate in the event that danger arises. Property managers should make sure that each unit is well equipped with fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and other preventative tools that will help reduce the chance of injury or death within the elderly tenants living space. In addition to this, managers should conduct regularly scheduled maintenance visits to make sure that there is nothing within the unit that poses a safety threat to their elderly tenant. For instance, they should make sure that there are no frayed wires or malfunctioning electrical devices that could pose potential fire hazards.
Also, it is always crucial to have at least two exit points within a room to allow for easy evacuation. This is much more important when it comes to elderly tenants because most of them will be moving at a much slower pace, and might not be able to make use of some of these exit points. It is necessary for the property manager to have a conversation with their elderly tenant to see if they have any special needs that can be worked into safety and evacuation plans. This will make each of these things much easier and effective on your tenant.
The importance of having adequate security measures in place cannot be overstated. Property managers can make their housing complexes more secure by having proper security equipment in place. This can be accomplished by investing in high security and high quality door locks as well as access control systems within your unit to prevent unlawful entry. Essentially, you want to make it as hard as possible for burglars and criminals to find their way to your elderly tenants. In addition to this, property managers can invest in surveillance cameras that will help them cast a wider net of security around their tenants, and keep track of the people who visit the housing complex. Property managers play a major role in keeping their tenants secure, but so do the tenants. Because of this, it is important for managers to have a conversation with their elderly tenants and let them know some measures they can employ to make sure that they keep themselves safe. It is important to let your tenant know to lock their windows and doors at all times, and not to entertain unsolicited visitors or people they do not know.
Property managers have a lot of weighty responsibility resting on their shoulders, as is often the case when you are semi-responsible for an individual’s well-being. It is a tough mantle to live up to, but hopefully once you have a good idea of what you need to get done, it becomes easier to accomplish. The main thing to be mindful of is that keeping your elderly tenants safe starts with a conversation. This will help solidify a better understand what you need and expect from each other.
Ralph Goodman is a local locksmith and an expert writer on all things locks and security over at the Lock Blog. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about keys, locks and safety. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.