When a landlord rents to tenants who have children, it's important for him or her to make sure the space is safe for kids. Naturally, some childproofing should be done by the parents -- the landlord doesn't have to put caps in all the electrical outlets, for example -- but the space needs to be generally safe. A few examples of things a landlord could do include:
1. Installing working smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide detectors. Parents may need to check the batteries, but these need to be functional units.
2. Repairing stairs to make sure they are safe and secure. This can include doing maintenance on loose banisters, handrails and the steps themselves.
3. Putting in a garage door closing system that has an emergency stop. For example, some systems use a laser that is beamed across just above floor level, and the door retracts if anything breaks the beam.
4. Checking to be sure the property doesn't contain harmful elements, like lead-based paint or asbestos. Both can and should be removed, though the process is long and sometimes needs to be done by a professional removal team.
5. Securing all fences and gates. Holes in a fence should be patched or sections should be replaced. Not only does the fence need to help keep kids in the yard, but it needs to keep out dangerous hazards, like a stray dog in the neighborhood.
Was your child hurt in your rental property, and do you think that the landlord's negligence was to blame? If so, it's often possible to seek out financial compensation to cover your costs.
Source: Rent Prep, "Landlord Safety Tips for the Youngest Tenants," Jennifer Maughan, accessed Dec. 20, 2016