Protecting Tenants from Health Hazards: The Importance of Property Maintenance and Certification in the Rental Industry

Improved Rental Health

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In order to ensure the safety and well-being of tenants, every state mandates that owners of rental units provide basic maintenance services for heating and plumbing systems. This includes providing clean running water and ensuring that the structure is sound and does not pose any unreasonable safety risks. Neglecting any of these areas can lead to legal liability for owners and landlords, obstacles for property managers, and severe health issues for tenants.

Monica Gilroy, a real estate lawyer and founding principal of The Gilroy Firm in Atlanta, recently discussed ways to reduce risks associated with lead-based paint and mold with property managers. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed an update to the rule in July, requiring property managers to hire certified professionals to deal with repair, renovation, and remediation involving lead-based paint. If implemented, property managers may need to obtain certification for dealing with lead-based paint repair and remediation. Gilroy suggests that property management firms could have one person become certified to ensure compliance.

When tenants report mold in their living space or the building, Gilroy stresses the importance of investigating the situation promptly. It is crucial to review any test results the tenant may have obtained and develop a checklist and written procedures in response to mold reports. Additionally, provide clear instructions to tenants on what steps they should take if they suspect they have encountered mold.

The information provided in this content was adapted from a webinar titled “How to Avoid Legal Liabilities When Dealing with Property Owners and Investors,” which was moderated by Rental Beast, the National Association of REALTORS®’ recommended software provider in the rental industry.

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