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An outdoor space is a big draw for tenants, especially when the weather is favorable. Keeping your backyard or patio safe for your tenants should be a priority; several common pitfalls can end up costing a fortune in litigation or insurance costs. A few simple upgrades and tech tools in your outdoor space can help you avoid these costs and prepare to show your property to prospective tenants this fall.

Why Tenants Love Outdoor Spaces

In today’s rental market, amenities remain a deciding factor in the success of a property. Unsurprisingly, outdoor amenities rank very highly. Five out of ten amenities valued most by tenants are outdoor-related areas or features, making the exterior of your apartment just as important as the interior.

The popularity of outdoor features may be connected to a sense of community or family. Many of the amenities that ranked highest relate to shared spaces where outdoor gatherings or parties can thrive. Giving your tenants the space they need to host social events or bring family together is a great way to help your rental property stand out from the crowd.

Tools to Avoid Common Dangers in Outdoor Spaces

Unfortunately, outdoor spaces can be a breeding ground for tenant accidents, especially during the fall and winter months. As a landlord, you have a responsibility to keep your property safe for your tenants, inside and out. These safety upgrades can keep your tenants safe while improving the value of your rental.

Outdoor Security Cameras

Cost: $40–$250

Security cameras are a great tool for preventing theft and for limiting your liability as a property owner. Today’s security cameras are discreet, low cost, and easy to monitor with a smartphone or computer. Security cameras offer peace of mind for you and your tenants. As a landlord, you’re always liable for accidents, and some unscrupulous tenants may try and use this fact to their advantage. A security camera can prevent fraudulent claims of injury or damage to the house.

Outdoor Lighting

Cost: $15–$250

Installing a few outdoor lights can easily enhance the security of your rental. A well-lit outdoor space is safer for your tenants to walk through or spend time in and helps eliminate areas where a would-be thief could approach the property. Smart lights add the additional convenience of programmable timers and ambient light sensors to make sure your lights are in use only when you need them. Don’t skimp on your outdoor lights—an inviting, well-lit, and aesthetically pleasing backyard space can significantly increase the perceived value of your rental property.

Patio Space

Cost: $1,700–$4,800

Creating a managed space for outdoor activities can significantly reduce the risk of an outdoor accident. Grill fires start an average of 9,600 home fires per year, and this catastrophic incident can be avoided by placing your outdoor spaces farther away from your property. Pouring a concrete pad away from anything flammable will keep your tenants safe all summer and well into the fall.

Outdoor Maintenance

Cost: $100–$200/mo.

Keeping your yard free of debris is an obvious way to prevent a slip or fall. In the fall and winter, it can be more challenging to avoid slippery leaves and ice patches, but the upkeep of your yard should be a priority year-round. It might be cheaper, in the long run, to hire a landscaping service to keep your yard clear.

An Investment That Shows You Care

An investment in the safety of your outdoor spaces lets your tenants know that you care about their personal safety. These small gestures can make a big difference in reducing your turnover and keeping good tenants around. Since most of these upgrades cover you from liability in the event of an accident, they’re a smart investment for your bottom line as well.

Author Blurb: Emily Long is a freelance writer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She writes about tech, home automation, and safety. When she’s not living out of a suitcase, you can find her practicing yoga, running Utah’s best trails, or attempting to perfect her coffee brewing skills.

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