You’ve worked hard to get your rental property into perfect condition, and now you are turning it
over to a new tenant. Like every landlord, you hope that the tenant will care for the property as
you have. Surely you want to do anything that might make it easier for tenants to do so. By
providing these five relatively inexpensive tools as part your property, you can help ensure that
when something happens, the tenants have what they need to deal with it immediately.
1. Toilet plunger: Enough said.
2. Fire extinguisher: You’d think this would also be a given, but the truth of the matter is a fire
extinguisher is an often overlooked piece of equipment. Make sure you purchase one for each
rental unit you own and place it in a convenient location. Be sure to review how to use it with
your tenant as part of the walk-through inspection.
3. Emergency call list: Good landlords have a range of experts on hand to call in an emergency,
such as plumbers, electricians and so forth. If you want your tenant to be able to respond to
emergencies that require outside assistance and save their belongings and your property, consider
providing an emergency list for them to use. Set a protocol. Decide whether you want them to
call you first, then call the emergency service if you don’t answer within five minutes or some
other arrangement. Providing your tenants with the names and numbers of people who know you
and your property and whom you trust can save your wallet in the long run.
4. Rechargeable flashlight: This may seem like an odd item to include in a rental property, but
it’s something that tenants don’t realize they need until they really do need it. Providing a heavy-
duty flashlight that plugs into a socket and recharges automatically benefits your tenant in
several ways. In a blackout situation, your tenant will be able to check the property safely, flip
breakers if necessary, and navigate stairs without injury. It may also be useful for your tenant to
use a flashlight to peek into dark places under the sink or in a dark utility room and spy a
problem, like a leak, sooner.
5. Lawn mower: Before you hyperventilate, read on. If you are renting out a single family
home and part of the lease agreement states that the tenant is responsible for mowing and light
yard work, it’s a good idea to provide a lawn mower for the tenant to use. This doesn’t have to be
a top-of-the-line zero turn radius; just a basic mower from the local discount store will do. Most
renters won’t own a lawn mower, and wouldn’t really be excited about purchasing one. With a
lawn mower you provide, you can ensure that the blades are sharp, the machine is tuned up each
season, and the tenant has no excuse to let the lawn get too long. Make sure you outline the
expectations for lawn care in the lease agreement and include the lawn mower as part of the
inventory for move-in and move-out inspections.
All in all, the ideal tenant is one that treats your rental property like a home, not just a stopping
point on the journey to the next rental. By providing your tenants with the tools and equipment
they might need to take care of the place, you are increasing the chances of keeping your
property in excellent shape.