Monthly Archives: May 2016

Navigating Insurance for Property Managers

Are you covered? In the Las Vegas area, we’ve have many incidents where people have broke into homes and have stole things that do not belong to them. The first and most important step to protecting everyone involved is to require insurance in all of your lease agreements to new renters. Renters insurance can protect the property as well as the renters personal belongings. Attached below is an article that gives you many tips on how get insurance on both a rental and owned home in the Las Vegas area! There are many key points on why every owner and tenant should have insurance on their Las Vegas Home. Please Read below to learn more about Insurance!

 

Navigating Insurance for Property Managers

 

 

Navigating your way through the complexities of property insurance can be dizzying, and even the most seasoned property managers can fail to grasp all of the factors involved in choosing the right plan for their properties. Every state has unique insurance requirements for owners and renters and it’s important to understand these differences, but don’t overlook the more obvious questions: Who is going to pay for insurance? How can you protect your owner’s investments, your renter’s well-being, and your bottom line? Here’s how you can turn an insurance debate into a win-win-win resolution.

Protect Your Owners

According to a recent survey from InsuranceQuotes.com, it’s reported that six in ten home or apartment renters don’t have insurance, placing no liability on the renter’s treatment of the home. In the instance of an accident in an uncovered residence, all cost for damage is incurred on you and your owners. That could mean thousands of dollars in costs for something as little as an overflowing bathtub.

The first and most important step to protecting everyone involved is to require insurance in all of your lease agreements to new renters. Insurance can take multiple forms in varying costs, so it’s essential to know exactly what your options are when presenting them upon lease signing.

Protect Your Renters

When insurance is required as a condition in the lease, the task of purchasing that insurance falls to the renter. With little incentive to do so immediately, the risk of an uninsured unit weighs directly on you. Why do renters wait so long? For many, this additional cost can be difficult to incur, especially on their own. This puts property managers in a difficult spot; on one hand they have a duty to protect the integrity of their owner’s property. On the other hand, affordability can be a major concern, and some may have concerns that this could result in losing a solid prospective renter.

Renters insurance can protect the property as well as the renters personal belongings. These plans can be purchased through a regular insurance provider (check with your car insurance provider), and the cost can vary greatly depending on the insurance company and the contents of the home. If cost is a major roadblock preventing your renters from purchasing a plan, there are also plans that can be provisioned through property managers that protect only the renter’s liability to the landlord for damage to the building only. These types of agreements can be added to the lease as an automatic charge upon signing, and can be as little as ten dollars a month.

“According to a recent survey from InsuranceQuotes.com, it’s reported that six inten home or apartment renters don’t have insurance.”

Protect Your Business

Ultimately, the relationship between you, your owners, and your renters will be much less strenuous when all parties benefit from a mutual sense of protection. With current renter’s or tenant liability insurance plans, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are protected from costly damages and potential lawsuits.

You can also build a better relationship with your renters by lowering the cost of their monthly insurance bills! As a property manager, you can make renter’s insurance cheaper by adding the following safety features to your units:

  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Security Systems
  • Deadbolt Locks for Entry Doors
  • Exterior Motion-Activated Lighting
  • Property Security (gated parking, 24-hour concierge, patrolmen)

As always, we recommend that you meet with your legal counsel before making any changes to your lease.

 

http://www.appfolio.com/blog

BUY REAL ESTATE

Below is an article that shares why you should buy real estate in the Las Vegas Area. They say that this spring buyers are supposed to outnumber the amount of sellers… that means prices will be going up. So purchase a property now while prices are low. Read to learn more!

Why Your Home Buyers Really Need to Hurry

Home buyers are expected to outnumber home sellers this spring, which likely will drive up asking prices, Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, told The Wall Street Journal.

“Given that prices are rising, more people will be pushed on the borderline of conventional mortgage limits and may need a large down payment or a jumbo mortgage,” Yun says.

Nationwide, the median price for an existing single-family home in January was $213,800 – up 8.2 percent just from a year ago, according to NAR’s housing data. Home prices are moving at the highest rate since April 2015.

“There’s a decade of pent-up demand,” Bob Walters, chief economist of Quicken Loans, told The Wall Street Journal.

One piece of good news for home buyers this spring: Mortgage rates are expected to stay low, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage not likely to rise above 4 percent before May, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com.

As such, lenders are predicting that the spring season will be a busy one. To avoid closing delays, buyers need to get into the market sooner rather than later, says Paul Anastos, president of Mortgage Master in Walpole, Mass., a division of loanDepot.

Like a traffic jam, “every minute later you leave costs you 10 minutes,” he notes. “Every day, the audience looking for houses increases exponentially.”

Anastos also urges home buyers to get preapproved for a loan prior to home-shopping — a step above pre-qualification. He says that alone could save home shoppers up to 10 days in the closing period.

“If you find a home this weekend, you look highly competitive” too, he says.

Source: “This Spring, Expect Higher Home Prices,” The Wall Street Journal (March 10, 2016) [Log-in required.]

http://realtormag.realtor.org

RENTING!!!

Have you thought about renting, but you do not want to because you think you wont have privacy? Attached below is an article of 3 privacy rights you have as a tenant in the Las Vegas area. Here at Black and Cherry Real Estate we take both our owner and tenant privacy very seriously! Please click the link below to learn more!

 

3 Privacy Rights Leaseholders Should Know About!! 

Apartments aren’t the most private or secluded living situation imaginable. After all, renters in multi-family properties are typically grouped together with at least a few other units on each floor. Residing in a rental can make you feel a bit bombarded at times, especially since you don’t own the place and your landlord has the right to enter under certain circumstances.

However, tenants maintain certain rights too, given the fact they’re paying dues to temporarily rent their units to call them home. If you’re renting, keep the following three privacy rights in mind to protect your freedom from disturbance during your lease.

emergency

Landlord’s have a right to enter in an emergency 

If there is an emergency in your apartment, such as a pipe burst or a flood, your landlord has the right to enter your apartment immediately and without notice. This typically holds true in all states regardless of fluctuating tenant law. Keep in mind, the emergency right to enter protects your belongings and most of all, your well being and potentially the well being of the neighbors. Therefore, any notification or request for access is not necessary when presumed danger to tenants or the property is involved.

notice

The right to enter typically requires notice

In California, and in most states, landlords must give some sort of notice if they wish to access apartments for repairs or showings. If landlords must access your unit to perform repairs when you’re not home, you can request a different date or time that is preferable to your schedule. Nevertheless, landlords must give 24-hours notice before they wish to access your apartment.

In terms of apartment showings, landlords typically outline a time frame in which showings will begin to take place before lease end. Advertising units far before they are vacated wouldn’t be beneficial since searching tenants are looking for units within about a month and the rental market moves quickly, so property managers often outline the showing period as 30-days prior to lease end. As with repairs, showings require notice – typically 24-hours – which can be modified to fit both parties’ schedules. Hopefully, the tenant-manager relationship is positive so that the two can work together in an amicable fashion and uphold the terms of the lease without question.

privacy

Tenants do not have to waive privacy in order to sign a lease

If you are attempting to sign a lease and your future landlord wants you to waive your privacy rights, whether it be to forgo your right to timely and noninvasive repairs or ample notice of apartment showings, you should move on in your apartment search. Chances are, the landlord in question lacks moral and ethical guidelines that will transfer to other aspects of your housing situation if chosen. In time, you’ll likely regret the decision to let go of your rights, as taking your landlord to court for entering your apartment without permission is a timely and costly process.

 

Just because you don’t own your home doesn’t mean you don’t hold a right to privacy. Researching your state and local landlord laws is an important aspect of being an informed leaseholder. Before you sign your next apartment, read the fine print and don’t be duped by a slumlord attempting to take advantage of your privileges as a paying tenant.

 

3 Privacy Rights Leaseholders Should Know About

CREDIT

Do you have bad credit? We have shared below an article that gives some tips on how to get into a home with bad credit. Read below…

Bad Credit? Here are Tips to Rent an Apartment

Do you have poor credit? These strategies can help you land an apartment.

  • Check your report
  • Discuss the issues
  • Get a reference
  • Sweeten the deal
  • Look for reasonable fits
  • Focus on the small operators
  • Get a co-signer

Is your credit poor? If it is, then you’ve probably figured out that it can make certain aspects of life difficult like finding a landlord who is willing to lease to you. Try these strategies to increase your chances of finding a good apartment when you have bad credit.

Before_Check_Your_Report_section

Check your report

Look over your credit report so you know exactly what it says. If you find something that is incorrect, file a dispute with that credit bureau.

In addition to making sure there aren’t inaccuracies, be proactive and improve your score with the following tactics:

  • Learn how to read and understand credit reports. Find a glossary that defines different terms used in credit reports, such as “30 days past due,” “account paid in full,” etc.
  • Pay credit cards by the due-date every month.
  • Resolve collections as quickly as possible.
  • Do not close credit line accounts that are open and report a perfect, or close to perfect, payment history.

Discuss the issues

When you apply for an apartment, it’s a good idea to explain to the landlord what went wrong by pulling your own credit report and attaching a note, explains certified public accountant Sally Herigstad:

“If either of you have negative marks for which you have an explanation, add a 100-word statement to your credit report.”

signing_contract

Source

Two tips when creating this statement include:

  • Provide whatever proof you have that you disputed the item as a mistake.
  • Describe any steps you’re taking to reestablish your creditworthiness.

If the landlord wants to run the credit check themselves, you should include a similar message with your application.

Get a reference

Try getting a previous landlord to recommend you as a tenant through a reference letter. Typically, a landlord will want to hear from (or speak with) a previous landlordCurrent landlords are sometimes unreliable because they just want to get rid of a problem tenant.

“If you have been current on your rent in previous apartments, ask former landlords to highlight that,” notes SFGate (link). “Give your references and cover letter to your prospective landlord along with your rental application.”

Sweeten the deal

Essentially, lower credit scores makes you unattractive to landlords. How can you make yourself more appealing?

  • Tell them you will take the apartment right away.
  • Suggest the idea of a shorter lease. Explain that if they’ll allow a shorter-term lease, it can help guarantee that your payments are consistent.
  • Tell them you will agree to pay a larger security deposit (although laws sometimes limit that). Essentially poor credit represents a financial risk to the landlord, so you reduce their risk by providing security cash as collateral.

It’s also a good idea to bring along your checkbook when you go look at an apartment. It’s can be especially compelling to a small landlord, if you are able to pay your rent immediately. As an alternative to the security deposit tactic, you might propose paying a few months of rent in advance.

Before_Look_for_Resonable_Fits

Look for reasonable fits

If your income is relatively high, that’s certainly a plus. However, there is a price range that makes sense for everyone, and it’s easy to overreach. Typically a property owner will want the amount that you would be paying them in rent over the course of the year to be no more than 35 percent of your annual income – and even better if it’s lower, notes real estate agent Mia Melle. “If their rent-to-income ratio is only 25 percent, we would consider that a positive factor,” she says. “Staying within your affordability range also ensures that you’re less likely to stretch yourself too thin and potentially damage your credit later.”

Focus on the small operators

A landlord who owns a few buildings as an individual is often more willing to make “on the fly” lease adjustments, as opposed to a large apartment company, since the latter uses a more standardized approach.

Before_Get_a_Co_Signer_section

Get a co-signer

Can you get a co-signer for the lease? That would be a person you know, typically a loved one, who will sign an agreement to cover the lease and pay your rent if you can’t.

When it comes down to it, being a co-signer is a big responsibility, with a lot of liability.  Plus, if it’s a friend, it could put a strain on your relationship. Tread cautiously with this approach and with who you choose to ask.

Conclusion

It can be extremely frustrating to have poor credit. However, it shouldn’t stop you from taking the steps you want to take in life. The point here, if you do have challenged credit realize the things that can swing the decision your way like dealing with a smaller landlord who has the authority to make their own adjustments.

Kent Roberts, the blog writer for EasyRent.com, an online rental property network, is a professional writer.  He has contributed to the New York Times and The Onion, and co-authored a book for Random House. As a content writer, Kent has written many business articles for industries including real estate, rental property management, healthcare, law, marketing, and web hosting. Kent has an MA in English Literature and a BA from Brown University.

http://hotpads.com/blog/bad-credit-here-are-tips-to-rent-an-apartment/

Security Deposits!

man being careful cooking so he can get his security deposit refundWith attention to detail and careful planning, you can ensure you’ll receive a security deposit refund (or at least a detailed explanation as to why it’s being withheld).

Take these essential steps to help ensure you get your full security deposit back.

You’ve known your landlord for months, maybe even years, so you’ve likely formed a relationship. But even if you exchange friendly words and live in harmony while you’re renting their space,landlord-tenant relationships can do a 180 at move-out time when a security deposit is involved. Naturally, tenants expect all of their deposit back, especially when they’ve kept the place tidy.

Unfortunately, not all landlords treat their tenants fairly, and if you’ve been confused about why you didn’t get your full deposit back (or didn’t get a refund at all!), it’s not hard to see why this is a frequent sticking point for renters. But it’s not just unfair for a landlord to withhold a security deposit refund for no reason: In most states, it’s not even legal. Take the following steps to help ensure you get your security deposit back.

1. Fill out an apartment rental inspection checklist

Fill out the move-in checklist your landlord provides for you, or download a rental inspection checklist from Trulia. In addition to checking off all boxes — from ensuring everything is working to noting any blemishes and marks — bring a camera and take pictures or videos of your apartment before you unpack your boxes. Pay extra attention to anything that looks less than stellar. This way, your landlord can’t claim you caused the damage. Once you’ve filled out the checklist, make a signed and dated copy of it for you and your landlord.

2. Take pictures the day you move out

Document how pristine you left the place: Take photos of every room and email them to your landlord the same day. If you can’t send them via email (or don’t think it’s necessary), don’t sweat it. Most digital images have time-stamp data included in the file if you later need to prove the date and time they were taken. That way, the crazy keg party your landlord throws the day after you move out can’t be attributed to you.

3. Read your lease carefully

Your lease will tell you if you need to give notice, and how much time is required. Usually, if your lease has an end date, you can simply move out on or before that day, but some leases automatically extend. If yours does, you’ll need to give notice, or else you could be at risk of losing your security deposit for breaking your new lease. If you are on a month-to-month lease, you’ll also need to give written notice, usually 30 days before you plan to move out. “Get a receipt from your landlord that your notice was submitted on time,” says Nancy Gaines of Colorado, a landlord and founder of Women Gaining Wealth.

4. Understand how landlord-tenant laws apply to you

Landlords should abide by local laws and statutes. Whether you live in an apartment for rent in Chicago, IL, or Baltimore, MD, a little research can make a big difference. Adam Ansari, a Chicago attorney specializing in real estate law, recommends that tenants check their city, county, and state laws for security deposit details and then write a letter to the landlord two to three months before the move-out date, reminding the landlord of the law. This will let the landlord know that you expect your full deposit back (or at least a detailed explanation of why they’re keeping it).

5. Start organizing and reassembling your place

Spend some time putting the property back in its original condition:

  • Patch any holes in the walls where you hung posters, pictures, etc.
  • Repaint the walls their original color (unless your new colors have been landlord-approved)
  • Fix any damages you caused
  • Clean the refrigerator and oven
  • Clean the entire apartment once you have all your furniture moved out

6. Request a final apartment walk-through

Ask your landlord to inspect the place with you present (after you have cleaned and fixed it up). Keep in mind that landlords do not have to agree to do a walk-through with you. Many landlords prefer to do the walk-through alone and at their leisure, to ensure you didn’t damage the place beyond normal wear and tear, but they should still be able to provide you with a list of any damages and the charges to fix them.

7. Tie up loose ends

Yes, you should drop off the keys, but you should also be sure to leave a forwarding address. And if you’d like the security deposit returned somewhere aside from your forwarding address, make sure to leave that with your landlord too. Let your landlord know where to send the security deposit.

Keep in mind: If you’ve followed these tips, didn’t leave behind major damage, and still don’t get your security deposit back, Wayne Gathright of Tenants.com says to “contact the local tenant’s council or go to small claims court.” He notes that many times, just “the threat of legal action is enough to get things resolved.”

Have you ever had a security deposit refund withheld? Share your experiences and tips in the comments!

http://www.trulia.com/blog/7-ways-avoid-losing-security-deposit/

5 Buyer Moves That Really Irk Agents

When it comes to showing buyers homes their are a couple common traits that kinda irk agents in Las Vegas Real Estate. This article that we have shared below shares 5 of those common traits that occur in home buyers. Read below to see if you relate or maybe can prevent…

 

5 Buyer Moves That Really Irk Agents

Sure, you love working with home buyers, but you’ve certainly seen a few traits again and again that really get under your skin. Realtor.com® recently ran a list of some of the top pet peeves real estate agents have when working with home buyers. Do you agree with this list?

Read more6 Bad Client Behaviors You’ll Encounter

1. Getting too caught up in aesthetics.

Real estate professionals say they wish more clients could get past the aesthetics of the house, especially since so many of the items that bother them are easily fixable. “I’ve had clients see some marks on a wall and a stain on the carpet and say, ‘This home needs $50,000 worth of work,’” says Joshua Jarvis, owner of Jarvis Team Realty in Brookhaven, Ga. “That’s not anywhere close to the renovations needed.” What’s more, they may have to pay nothing. “The cost to make the home like new is often easy to negotiate,” he says.

2. Becoming too focused on the money.

While money is an important quotient, buyers sometimes get so caught up with the financial aspect of purchasing that they are unable to focus on anything else, agents say. “It’s not necessarily the highest offer that the seller will accept, but rather the best structured offer,” says Dan Hicks, a real estate professional with Equity Colorado Real Estate in Denver. Agents say that they wish home buyers would trust them more when it comes to structuring a good offer that combines the mix of timing, price, and reasonable contingencies.

3. Taking too long to make a move.

The buyer finds the perfect house but then they delay making an offer too long. “If too much time passes between a buyer viewing a home and making an offer, the seller might not take you as seriously as another party who quickly expressed interest and maintained communication,” Hicks says.

4. Having conversations with the other side.

Buyers who talk to the listing agent without their own agent around may be making a mistake. After all, the listing agent is there to get the most money for the seller, not save the buyer money. “I’ve had clients talk to the seller or agent and divulge information that would harm them,” Jarvis says. “Stuff like ‘Oh, don’t worry about inspections, my company is paying a huge relocation bonus’ doesn’t exactly set the stage for a tough negotiation with the seller.”

5. Making a low-ball counteroffer.

Another agent pet peeve: The seller declines the first offer and the buyer then makes another unreasonable offer. This forces an agent to go back and forth and can frustrate sellers.  While buyers don’t want to overspend, they need to be smart about their offers and carefully listen to their real estate agent, who knows what sellers likely will and won’t accept.

Read more agents’ pet peeves at realtor.com®.

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/01/19/5-buyer-moves-really-irk-agents

10 Easy Steps to a Total Rental Makeover

Are you sick of the same boring house you see everyday? Attached below is some tips on how to decorate you Las Vegas Rental! Here at Black and Cherry Real Estate we love to hear all about how our renters and home owners have stepped out of their comfort zone and got real creative! Read below and we can read, learn, and decorate together!

Situation: You love your home, but you rent and your landlord won’t allow you to make any permanent cosmetic changes — and they’re not renovating your rental property anytime soon.

Don’t fret. There are countless ways to freshen up your rental this spring and make it your own, all while keeping in line with your landlord’s rules.

You may have heard the standard advice: cover outdated or damaged flooring with a flattering area rug, add splashes of color, and cover your walls with art you love. While these are all worthwhile tips, we think you’ll appreciate a few more ideas you may not have considered.

1. Add curtains

You know those cheap, flimsy plastic blinds? If your rental happens to have them and they don’t quite fit into your dream interior design plan, cover them up with curtains you do love.

Or, if they’re easy to uninstall, remove your blinds altogether and use curtains only. (But be sure to save the blinds for reinstallation on move-out day.)

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Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

2. Clean up dingy grout

Whether it’s your bathroom, kitchen or entryway tile (or all of the above!) making you grimace, dingy grout can put a damper on how you feel about the cleanliness of your space.

If typical grout cleaning solutions aren’t working, get grout stain at your local home improvement store. Follow the manufacturer’s directions — your grout should look brand new just a few hours later.

3. Clean the carpet

If your landlord won’t agree to clean your carpets at least annually, take it into your own hands. Either look into carpet cleaning rental options (which usually only cost around $30), or hire professional carpet cleaners yourself.

4. Change light fixtures

If you’re not feeling the outdated light fixtures, why not pick out new ones that are more your style (and decade)? You can hire an electrician to switch out the fixtures (for around $100), but be sure to save the old ones to have re-installed before you move out.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

5. Upgrade cabinet hardware

Just like you can upgrade your light fixtures, you can also easily replace cabinet pulls. Look around for cabinet knobs that bring your kitchen or bathroom into the new millennium, and swap them back for the older ones when it’s time to move. If replacing the hardware isn’t possible, try buffing them so at least they look new(er).

6. Hide the washer and dryer

If your washer and dryer units are out in the open, think of ways to hide them that ties into your decor. For example, if they’re in an open closet space, cover them up by hanging a shower rod with curtains that match the rest of the room.

7. Embrace decor quirks

Is your bathroom covered in old pastel tile from the 1950s? Instead of fighting it, dive into the dated quirkiness. Choose a color palette that embraces your current bathroom setup.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

8. Add faux light

Most of us would love natural light throughout our home, but when that’s not an option, you can trick yourself into feeling like you’re in a brighter space simply by adding mirrors and incorporating a lighter color scheme into the space.

9. Put up removable wallpaper

Yes, it’s a thing. When paint isn’t an option, look for adhesive wallpaper, which peels off when you’re over it. Try it out on an accent wall. If your landlord is nervous just at the mention of wallpaper, you can use peel-and-stick wall decals for a similar effect.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

10. Bring in some greenery

Adding plants to your home is an easy way to both add color and (literally) bring a room to life. From air plants and succulents to palm plants, there are so many easy-to-grow plant options for your home. And the benefits of houseplants are plenty, as they are both therapeutic and add to your home decor.

With these 10 home refreshers, you can upgrade your home this spring for next to nothing.

Bonus rental refresher ideas

  • Paint your furniture
  • Install window boxes
  • Add throw pillows
  • Switch out the photos in your frames
  • Swap out your bedding and towels
  • Add a kitchen cart
  • Rearrange your bookshelves
  • Add a room divider
  • Cover your radiator
  • Add lighting dimmers
  • Cover countertops with a large cutting board

 

http://www.zillow.com/blog/refresh-your-rental-for-spring-193979/

Decorating Your First Apartment!

Are you have trouble thinking of cute ideas to decorate your first home? In the article attached below, there is 8 different blogs that will help you think of unique ideas to decorate your Las Vegas or Henderson Home! At Black and Cherry Real Estate we love to hear about all the nifty ways out Tenants and Home Owners decorated their new space! Read below to help in inspire your new Las Vegas Rental!

 

Decorista Daydreams — 8 Blogs to Inspire Your First Apartment Decor

Baby Proofing your Las Vegas Home!

Do you have a baby or are you expecting a little one soon? Attached below is an article giving you very helpful tips on how to baby proof your Las Vegas home! Nothing is more vulnerable than a tiny baby, and below is a few neat tricks to help you keep both your baby and your house safe! Please feel free to read below to better help you with your Las Vegas Rental!

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Baby-proofing your home is an essential for child safety, but it can be a bit more of a challenge in a rental. (Landlords generally disapprove of new holes in the walls, after all.)

These tips will have your rental home safe and healthy for your little ones in no time.

Corral cords and cover plugs

Electrical cords pose a safety hazard to children of all ages, so keep them tidy and out of reach. And make sure curtain and blind cords are tied up out of reach and well away from the floor, where a child could get tangled in them.

For electrical outlets, use plastic plug protectors, as opposed to replacing sockets. If you have power strips, purchase covers for those too.

Don’t forget that the knobs on stoves and ovens can be within reach of curious little hands. Put stove knob covers on them as a precaution.

Lock windows, doors and drawers

Luckily, there are a lot of options for door and drawer child-safety locks that won’t damage your rental property. Use these for knobs, both lever and twist, on any doors leading to exterior areas, bathrooms and kitchens where water could pose a hazard, and any other potentially dangerous areas of your house.

Make sure kitchen and bathroom cabinets (and the toilet itself) are locked. Cabinets containing cleaning chemicals are especially dangerous, so it’s best to store those items in upper level cabinets. Purchase foam finger-pinch protectors to keep little ones from slamming their fingers in cabinet doors.

Windows, particularly those that are at child-height, pose another hazard. Move furniture away from them, especially in the child’s bedroom, and install locks if there aren’t any. Keep windows latched at all times. You can also install window guards so windows can be opened but kids can’t get — or fall— out of them.

Install gates

In a rental, you may not be able to screw gates into the walls for extra safety. However, gates with pressurized mounting systems can do the trick.

Look for the words “pressure mounted” or “no-drill.” Be sure to put baby gates at the top and bottom of all stairs; also consider putting them in the doorways to any areas where you don’t want your child to go (such as kitchens, bathrooms and pet areas).

Secure furniture and rugs

Keep in mind that babies and toddlers, especially when they are first learning to stand up and cruise, will use anything around them to help pull themselves up. Are all of your bookcases, shelving units, tables and desks stable?

It may not be possible to screw all bookcases and desks into the wall of your rental, but you can still stabilize them by taking a few extra precautions. First, make sure the furniture itself is sturdy and stable. Then remove heavy items from upper shelves which may cause the unit to become top heavy and more likely to fall down on a child.

Make sure rugs stay firmly in place with rubber rug-grip pads. And toy chests should be lidless so there is no possibility of your child becoming trapped inside.

Look down low

Get down on baby level, and see what’s around that could be dangerous. Are there loose caps on doorstops? Remove this potential choking hazard. Just stash them in a special spot so you can replace them when you move.

Keeping floors clean is easier said than done, but clean floors are a key safety issue for babies and toddlers. If an item is on the floor, chances are a little one will find it, and put it in her mouth.

Survey your home for any potentially poisonous materials. Remove any old mousetraps, ant traps or roach traps lingering from previous owners. And keep in mind that some houseplants are poisonous when ingested, so keep plants up high and away from children.

A safe home is a happy home! These precautions will help keep your child out of harm’s way — and you on your landlord’s good side.

Home is where you keep the things that matter to you. Allstate Renters Insurance can help you protect your stuff if something bad happens to it. Visit Allstate for helpful tips and information on renters insurance and more

 

shutterstock_338255840

Baby-proofing your home is an essential for child safety, but it can be a bit more of a challenge in a rental. (Landlords generally disapprove of new holes in the walls, after all.)

These tips will have your rental home safe and healthy for your little ones in no time.

Corral cords and cover plugs

Electrical cords pose a safety hazard to children of all ages, so keep them tidy and out of reach. And make sure curtain and blind cords are tied up out of reach and well away from the floor, where a child could get tangled in them.

For electrical outlets, use plastic plug protectors, as opposed to replacing sockets. If you have power strips, purchase covers for those too.

Don’t forget that the knobs on stoves and ovens can be within reach of curious little hands. Put stove knob covers on them as a precaution.

Lock windows, doors and drawers

Luckily, there are a lot of options for door and drawer child-safety locks that won’t damage your rental property. Use these for knobs, both lever and twist, on any doors leading to exterior areas, bathrooms and kitchens where water could pose a hazard, and any other potentially dangerous areas of your house.

Make sure kitchen and bathroom cabinets (and the toilet itself) are locked. Cabinets containing cleaning chemicals are especially dangerous, so it’s best to store those items in upper level cabinets. Purchase foam finger-pinch protectors to keep little ones from slamming their fingers in cabinet doors.

Windows, particularly those that are at child-height, pose another hazard. Move furniture away from them, especially in the child’s bedroom, and install locks if there aren’t any. Keep windows latched at all times. You can also install window guards so windows can be opened but kids can’t get — or fall— out of them.

Install gates

In a rental, you may not be able to screw gates into the walls for extra safety. However, gates with pressurized mounting systems can do the trick.

Look for the words “pressure mounted” or “no-drill.” Be sure to put baby gates at the top and bottom of all stairs; also consider putting them in the doorways to any areas where you don’t want your child to go (such as kitchens, bathrooms and pet areas).

Secure furniture and rugs

Keep in mind that babies and toddlers, especially when they are first learning to stand up and cruise, will use anything around them to help pull themselves up. Are all of your bookcases, shelving units, tables and desks stable?

It may not be possible to screw all bookcases and desks into the wall of your rental, but you can still stabilize them by taking a few extra precautions. First, make sure the furniture itself is sturdy and stable. Then remove heavy items from upper shelves which may cause the unit to become top heavy and more likely to fall down on a child.

Make sure rugs stay firmly in place with rubber rug-grip pads. And toy chests should be lidless so there is no possibility of your child becoming trapped inside.

Look down low

Get down on baby level, and see what’s around that could be dangerous. Are there loose caps on doorstops? Remove this potential choking hazard. Just stash them in a special spot so you can replace them when you move.

Keeping floors clean is easier said than done, but clean floors are a key safety issue for babies and toddlers. If an item is on the floor, chances are a little one will find it, and put it in her mouth.

Survey your home for any potentially poisonous materials. Remove any old mousetraps, ant traps or roach traps lingering from previous owners. And keep in mind that some houseplants are poisonous when ingested, so keep plants up high and away from children.

A safe home is a happy home! These precautions will help keep your child out of harm’s way — and you on your landlord’s good side.

Home is where you keep the things that matter to you. Allstate Renters Insurance can help you protect your stuff if something bad happens to it. Visit Allstate for helpful tips and information on renters insurance and more.

 

http://www.zillow.com/blog/how-to-baby-proof-your-apartment-196259/