Ghosts, witches, zombies, and goblins run amok every Halloween, so it’s important to ensure a safe celebration for your tenants, their visitors, and your property. Chances are your tenants will be participating in events like handing out candy or taking their own kids trick-or-treating, and with people coming and going off your property during the ghoulish festivities, it’s essential to make sure all property, tenants, and guests are safe.
Start preparing for the spooky holiday by taking the necessary precautions to safeguard your rental property, as you could be liable for any injuries that happen on your property. Follow these Halloween safety tips to help your tenants and their visitors have a fun and harmless celebration this holiday.
Halloween Safety Tips to Avoid Tricks on Your Property
Since there are so many events and activities to do on Halloween night, your property may be vacant for the evening. As a landlord, you should take the necessary precautions to protect your vacant properties and remind your tenants to do a quick run-through before leaving the house. Whether your tenants are hosting or ghosting, the following Halloween safety tips are sure to keep your property safe.
1. Keep Walkways Clear
Decorations like pumpkins, tombstones, and cobwebs all help set the scene, but can quickly become a tripping hazard if not properly placed. Cumbersome costumes, vision-hindering masks, and young children don’t always mix well with such obstacles, so having a clear path for a high-traffic evening will help ensure no one gets hurt on your property.
Remind your tenants to make sure there’s a clear walkway to the front door for trick-or-treaters by keeping all decorations and other loose debris to the side.
2. Have a Well-Lit Property
While dim lighting might add to the creepy ambiance, having a well-lit property is key to making sure your rental and guests are safe during the Halloween festivities. Extra light helps deter any troublemakers while preventing falls from trick-or-treaters.
Replace any burned-out porch lights, keep a lamp near the entrance on, and, if needed, install additional lights in the front yard to illuminate the walkway path.
3. Be Cautious of Fire Hazards
Jack-o-lanterns are classic Halloween decorations to set out on your porch, but they can easily become a fire hazard, as they can be forgotten or accidentally overturned. In fact, between 2014 and 2018, 36% of house fires on Halloween were started by candles. Thankfully, you don’t have to completely knock jack-o-lanterns and other eerie lanterns from your porch decor as there are a lot of great alternatives to an open flame.
Encourage your tenants to use battery-powered mock candles for a more traditional look or use purple and orange glow sticks to add to the spooky atmosphere.
4. Install Non-Slip Treads on Stairs
Making sure that your steps are slip-resistant and railings are secure should already be a part of your fall maintenance checklist, as the ice and slush from the colder months could make slips more prevalent. Adding in bulky costumes onto potentially slippery surfaces is a recipe for disaster.
If you live in an area that is prone to rain, snow, or slush by the end of October, investing in non-slip treads is well worth it to keep the neighborhood kids and your tenants safe on your property.
5. Keep Doors and Windows Locked
Whether your tenants will be attending Halloween events or you have a vacant property, it’s important to make sure your rental is securely locked while unoccupied. The risk of vandalism and theft increases on Halloween, as high pedestrian traffic makes it easy to blend in.
Lock up your vacant property and remind your tenants to secure all their doors, windows, gates, and garages before leaving their rental for the evening.
6. Have Residents Keep Pets Away
If your rental allows pets, make sure to remind your tenants to keep their furry friends in a safe room inside. With unfamiliar visitors, scary costumes, and constant doorbell ringing, the stimulation could make pets feel nervous and uneasy.
Prevent escapes or aggressive behavior by keeping pets in a secure and quiet room away from the front door.
7. Offer a Bowl of Candy
If you have a vacant property, it may seem like a good idea to turn off the light to deter trick-or-treaters, but it’s not a good idea to make your property look unoccupied. Turn on the porch lights and put out a big bowl of candy for passing visitors to avoid those neighborhood tricksters.
If your tenants won’t be home to pass out candy or they plan to continue social distancing this year, encourage them to use this printable sign to leave out next to a big bowl of candy to welcome trick-or-treaters to take one or two pieces of candy.
8. Install Security Cameras
If you haven’t already installed surveillance cameras on your property, now’s the time to do so. Burglars tend to avoid homes with security cameras, and with 17% more crime-related claims on Halloween, it’s a great investment to make before the spooky holiday arrives.
Adding surveillance such as doorbell cameras is also a great way to add security and value to your rental property as they are the most sought-after security feature in a rental property.
9. Check Outdoor Areas
As a landlord, you can be liable for injuries that happen to visitors on your property. With sugar-crazed children running around, it’s important to avoid potential mishaps. To refrain from any accidents, it’s smart to inspect the lawn and any pathways leading up to the front door to make sure there aren’t any holes or cracks that could cause an injury.
Before the night of Halloween, make sure to fix or clearly mark any holes or cracks on your property. To help, use these printable signs to mark any uneven ground, steep steps, or unauthorized areas for extra precaution.
10. Perform a Morning Check-Up
Since Halloween is full of tricks, pranks, and lots of foot traffic, make a point to do a check-up on your property the day after, and be prepared to deal with any problems that occurred the night before. As a landlord, you aren’t responsible for any pranks that wreak havoc on your property, such as smashed pumpkins or TP’d trees, as those should be dealt with by your tenant.
However, if pranks go beyond annoying and cause actual property damage like a broken window (that wasn’t your tenant’s fault), it’s up to you as a landlord to deal with repairs. Make sure to deal with these nuisance situations as soon as possible or have renters insurance to cover the damages.
If damages occur because of your tenant, make sure to write them a letter for damages.
How Landlords Can “Treat” Their Tenants This Halloween
One of the scariest parts of this year’s Halloween isn’t the ghosts and goblins but COVID-19. As the holiday approaches, it’s a great idea to offer safe and sanitary alternatives to traditional Halloween activities for your tenants.
Start a “You’ve Been BOOed Activity
No one does social distancing better than a ghost that leaves a bag of candy at your door without a trace. Start a game of “You’ve Been BOOed” by leaving a bag of candy at one of your tenants’ doors along with these printable signs. Then, it’s up to your tenant to put together a candy package and “Boo” someone else in your neighborhood to continue the game. Don’t forget to remind your tenants to add the “We’ve Been BOOed” sign to their door after they’ve been “BOOed” once.
This is a great way to get the community in the spooky spirit and spread some fun around the neighborhood that’ll make for a great tradition for years to come.
Hand Out Candy Labels For Tenants’ Trick-or-Treaters
While leaving out a bowl of candy for trick-or-treaters may feel like social distancing, having all those hands digging through the candies can be very unsanitary. To make it more COVID-friendly, offer your tenants these printable labels to attach to a small goodie bag filled with candy or other treats. They can provide these to trick-or-treaters to avoid hundreds of hands from touching the candy bowl. This way, your tenants can avoid unnecessary germs lurking around the bowl of sweets.
Offer a Halloween Scavenger Hunt Alternative
If you have tenants with children who’ve decided to continue social distancing this year or live in a rural area with limited neighbors, offer this Halloween scavenger hunt activity for their kids. This activity is super fun to play while watching some of their favorite Halloween movies or while driving around the community. For families with multiple children, this scavenger hunt can be made into a friendly competition between siblings.
Spooky season is upon us, so it’s important to start implementing these simple precautions to help prevent any trickery that may occur on Halloween night. To help ensure your rental property will be safe on all the other days of the year, use our rental application and tenant screening services so you can find the best tenant for your property.