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Why Landlords Should Child-proof Their Investment Properties

Child proof your rental home

A report from the World Health Organization previously stated that about 2,270 children around the world die every day as a result of an unintentional injury. Rather worryingly, a sizable chunk of these injuries ranges from drowning to choking and falls and are injuries that occur in these children's own homes or backyards.

If you're a homeowner that's looking to lease out your property to a family, an important thing to know is that keeping their children safe is a priority for any family. As a landlord, it's your responsibility to not just focus on the functional features, but also the safety features. Providing a property that's free from hazards will increase your pool of prospective tenants and attract those with young children. It'll also help in reducing the likelihood that you'll be held legally liable if anyone injures themselves on the property.

Below are some of the most common ways that children can have serious injuries or fatalities at home, and some tips in helping you with child-proofing your properties.

Falling from heights

One of the most common causes of injuries or fatalities in children are falls from balconies or windows. If your property has a balcony, you should have a balustrade that runs vertically so it cannot be climbed, or it should be positioned close enough so that there's no chance that children will slip through. All windows should also be fitted with heavy-duty fly screens that'll be able to resist the weight of a child and stop them from falling through.

As a landlord, you should also check that your balcony isn't leaking and that it's properly waterproofed. Leaks can have devastating consequences to the structure, and could potentially cause harm or injury to children. There are a couple of things to look for when it comes to balconies, including weak structural joints, water stains on the underside, and more. To minimize such incidents from happening, consider waterproofing your home, including the walls as excess moisture can cause havoc.

Stairs can also cause serious injuries to children – especially if they fall from the top of the stairs. To ensure safety, you should allow tenants with children to install child-proof gates just in case. After all, the legal experts at Shuman Legal told us that tenants who are hurt by accident on a landlord's property typically have the option to file a personal injury claim for compensation, which could include medical expenses or loss of income, and amount to a hefty sum.

Drowning

While having a swimming pool in your backyard is great and can provide hours of fun, they're also where drownings take place. Hence, you must have all pools fenced and fitted with child-proof locks for extra precautions. You should also consider leaving out water features such as fish ponds as they can also pose dangers to children.

Strangulation

Another common cause is strangulation, and items such as curtains, blinds cords, and pulleys can cause a serious risk to children. While the safety guidelines differ from country to country, there's no harm in ensuring that the corded windows installed in the home pose no safety risks to occupants. It's always best to check the guidelines and try not to attempt to remove the window coverings on your own or to replace them with newer units.

Safety is priority

As a landlord, your tenant's safety should be your number one priority. While having some aesthetic features is nice, you should always have safety at the back of your mind. To be prepared, however, you can also get a specialized form of insurance that can cover you for the risks that are associated with owning an investment property. An example of this is a legal liability that may be able to cover for expenses incurred if a lawsuit happens to arise from an occupant suffering injuries, damage, or loss at the property due to your negligence.

Preferably, you want to make sure that you never find yourself in a situation where you may have to use this particular form of insurance. Instead, spend your time focusing on making your property a place that's comfortable and well-suited for families with children.

That way, you can be confident that if a family is interested in your property, you've taken all the precautions and sufficiently child-proofed the home enough to give them a peace of mind.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is parenting.

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