Landlords, Get Emergency Help to Your Tenants Faster!

As a landlord or property manager, there are many requirements that, because they may seem so obvious, we just don’t think about them. But ask yourself, “Can a paramedic, firefighter, or policeman find my tenant’s house quickly—day or night?” Even with GPS-aided dispatch, it can be hard to figure out which entry doors go to which house during a typical service call, much less in an emergency. When seconds count, why risk it?

The safety requirements are that individual homes and suites within structures shall clearly identify their numeric address (usually near front/rear exterior entrances or service corridors). The Arabic numbers or English alphabetic letters must be a minimum of 3 inches tall and shall be of a color that contrasts with the background of their mounting surface.

Helpful Tip: The addressing of the mailbox, if within a reasonable distance from the front entrance door, can suffice—as long as the size and contrasting color requirements are met. Consider using a strong flashlight to make sure they are clearly visible from the street at night.

This is a relatively easy, quick job using simple hand tools (unless the mounting service is masonry or other difficult to penetrate cladding). Most hardware aisles have these numbers in stock, just make sure you get the right sizes and color, and make sure that they will securely mount to the surface they will be placed on. We suggest mounting in areas that are easy to spot from the road and which are mounted near the property entry doors at a level high enough (60-80 inches) to prevent them from being reached by curious children, being knocked off the wall due to impacts with furnishings and appliances, etc.

Our inspectors check for these requirements during the required rental inspection—just one of many items that others may overlook because they are not clearly identified on most rental property inspection checklists. If we notice a problem--particularly one that increases your potential liability in a tenant dispute--we’ll discreetly bring that out in the recommended maintenance items for your consideration. It’s one more way we help out our fellow landlords.

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