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Less Tricks, More Treats: Tips for Staying Safe this Halloween

Grand Rapids Resident Holding a Stack of a Decorated Pumpkin and a Jack-o-LanternAlthough there are many Halloween traditions, it seems that the most popular one is trick-or-treating. To kids all around the country— including in Grand Rapids— Halloween just means candy. Your tenants may be eager to don a costume and go out trick-or-treating, or they may prefer to stay home and receive costumed guests for candies. No matter how they choose to participate, there are some things to consider to ensure that the evening is a safe and enjoyable one for all. Now, as a property owner, regular tenant communication is crucial. So, you can use this holiday to continue interacting with them by giving them tidbits like trick-or-treating safety tips.

First, should your tenants choose to go out trick-or-treating, there are a few simple safety rules that they should stick to. You can encourage tenants to use reflective tape on costumes or carry flashlights to help improve visibility while walking down dark streets. It would also be helpful to pass along some good advice about costumes. Avoid masks that obstruct your vision and skip the oversized shoes, robes, or skirts that could cause someone to trip and fall. For safety purposes, encourage your tenants to secure all doors, douse any candles, and turn off all electronic decorations, when they leave the house. Because, if left unattended, candles and electric decorations pose a risk. They are one of the leading causes of residential fires on Halloween.

The second thing we’ll talk about is the giving end of trick-or-treating. We’re talking about how to properly prepare for visitors—as this is also very important when celebrating Halloween. As the property owner, you can begin with regular landscaping maintenance or ensuring that your tenants have done so. One thing you can do, before receiving the costume-clad visitors, is to clear away overgrowth, low-hanging branches, and other potential hazards

Encourage your tenants to pitch in by clearing leaves and debris from sidewalks, driveways, and walkways, as well as removing any tripping hazards like garden hoses. It’s also a good idea to confirm if the property’s exterior lights are all in order or if you need to replace any burned-out bulbs. As you go around checking the exterior lights, also observe if there are any dark areas. It would be best that these be illuminated with extra light sources, such as landscaping lights or even battery-powered tea lights in decorative bags. A clear and well-lit walkway is a safe walkway.

If your tenant has plans to display jack o’ lanterns, then it would be good to make sure they do it safely. Here are some tips you should tell them to consider. First, make sure that doorways and walkways are kept free of candles and other hazards. To lessen the risk, suggest to your tenants to go for lighting sources that do not require an open flame. However, if your tenant really wants to use candles in their decorating, make sure that they are placed at a safe distance from where visitors might be walking or standing. Another important thing is to ensure that all exterior decorations your tenant hangs up are properly secured. Should a decorative item fall and injure a visitor or an improperly placed candle burn someone or start a fire, then you’d have a huge problem. This could result in (on top of the property damage) a lawsuit against you as the property owner.

There are a few more safety measures your tenant can do to prevent accidents and injuries on Halloween. If your tenant has pets and plans to give out candy on Halloween, they should be sure to keep their furry friends indoors and secured in a safe location. A dog can be stressed out by strangers, so it is in the best interest of the pet to be secured. This ensures that nobody gets hurt. Additionally, the last thing you’d want to happen to you is to get sued because your tenant’s dog injured someone.

Your tenants should also know that not all items are considered safe and appropriate for trick-or-treaters of all ages. Usually, store-bought, individually wrapped items are the best. Only make sure that they are big enough to not pose as a choking hazard. In many locations, you can also leave a bowl of treats outside. This would be a good alternative especially if your tenant is not planning to hand out candies themselves. Doing this not only makes the experience better for the kids but it also helps your rental property from becoming the target of Halloween pranks and vandalism.

While educating your tenants is an important part of rental property ownership— and it’s something you can’t ignore— it also takes up so much time. Since your real estate investing business demands so much time and attention from you, it might make sense to hire a Grand Rapids property manager. Real Property Management Investment Solutions is an expert in the industry, providing services that allow you to spend your time on more valuable aspects of rental property ownership. To know more about what we have to offer property owners like yourself, please contact us online or give us a ring at 616-419-8880.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.