On today’s blog, we are covering a couple of special liability issues you should be aware of as a landlord in Phoenix. The three main things you need to be prepared for are bed bugs, smoke alarms and rekeying your property.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are becoming more and more of a problem. At HomeQwik, we have not had this issue in any of our rental properties in 10 years. However, working with other agents and Phoenix property managers across the valley, we know that they are becoming an issue. Bed bugs don’t create themselves in Arizona. You might bring them from a hotel stay, an airplane or a vacation. If you have ever had bed bugs at your property, you need to disclose it. You also need to have bed bugs treated professionally. Get the documentation that shows you properly treated it. Bed bugs are very small and you won’t know they’re present until you have an infestation. There’s not much you can do preventatively, but we always recommend that you have a good pest control spray done before tenants move in. Just handle it quickly, disclose it and then move on.

Smoke Alarms

Batteries in smoke alarms can chirp when they’re dying. Replacing the batteries isn’t enough because that doesn’t mean the smoke detector is working. Use a can of smoke to spray and test it. Be sure these are checked every time a tenant moves out or if you just happen to be doing a walk through inspection. Check those alarms and don’t be stuck with this liability. In the worst case scenario, there will be a fire at your property. If that happens, you want to prove the alarms were checked and working.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 11.34.22 AMRekeying the Property

Rekey every property as soon as tenants leave. Don’t be cheap on this. Make sure that when you have a new Phoenix tenant moving in, you can confirm they have a fresh key and no one else has a copy. You never want to be caught in a situation where someone lets themselves into the house with an old key. You won’t spend more than $100 or $200 to rekey the doors, and it will help you avoid liability in the long run.  

Liability isn’t fun to talk about, but these are things you should know as a Phoenix landlord. If you have any questions, please contact us at HomeQwik Property Management.