As a Bernal Heights property manager, the safety of your tenants is a central focus. Similarly, you need a property with great curb appeal. The most promising investment properties combine the two by creating attractive, accessible entry areas. You can enormously reduce slips and falls on the property by making sure your tenants can come and go with ease.
An accessible entryway isn’t just about protection. By constructing an accessible entry into your rental property, you can expand your potential renter demographic and attract seniors or renters with accessibility needs. In what follows, we’ll take a closer look at ways that you can make your property’s entryway both safer and more aesthetically pleasing.
Why Entryways Matter
Entry points to a house control access to the property. This makes them an important aspect of preparing your home for tenants. Many single-family rental homes are not necessarily built with easy accessibility in mind. This is especially accurate for older homes, which often have safety hazards like steps without railings or slippery walkway materials. Newer homes may have the same problems, but improved building codes and a better understanding of universal design have remarkably improved accessibility in many ways.
Whenever your rental property was built, it is important to begin by evaluating it from an accessibility standpoint. To get an accurate picture of how accessible your rental home is, begin with a slow walk through entry areas, looking for likely issues. Walk from the edge of the property line up the driveway and front walkway. Consider how smooth the walkway surfaces are and whether there are damaged areas that might trip someone or cause a wheelchair to get stuck. If possible, have a friend walk beside you.
You may be surprised at how narrow your front walkway is. Both damaged surfaces and narrow access points can make it difficult for some tenants to use them safely. The same is true for right-angle turns. Consider changing sharp corners with curves instead. A gently curving pathway up to the front door will not only be more accessible, but it will add an attractive feature to the front of the house as well.
Another real trouble area for entryway accessibility is the front steps. Although common, steps can make it difficult for some tenants to come and go safely. This is particularly true if your rental property is in an area where ice and snow can be a problem. The best home designs have no steps into the house. But even if your property already has them, there are things you can do to make your entryway more accessible.
How to Improve Access
There are many easy ways to improve the safety and accessibility of your rental home. For example:
Stairs: If your rental home doesn’t already have one, start by installing a solid handrail and good exterior lighting. Railings should extend at least one foot beyond the bottom of the stairs, and lights should be placed thoroughly for clear illumination of each step. Also, consider adding non-slip strips or material to the steps.
Entry Doors: Another thing that can make an entryway more accessible is the type of hardware used. Traditional doorknobs can be hard to use for many people. As a substitute, consider installing a keypad, using lever handles, or even an automatic opener.
Ramps: If your accessibility planning requires you to invest some money into upgrading your front steps, think about using that same money to replace them entirely. Depending on how high the front doorstep is, it might be more cost-effective to build a ramp up to the front door. Some of the best entryway ramps don’t even look like ramps. Rather, they have been designed so well that they look no different from a slightly raised cement walkway with a gentle upward slope. In this way, you can upgrade the curb appeal of your property while still adding a low-profile ramp that will greatly improve the safety of the entry areas.
Improving the safety and accessibility of your Bernal Heights rental property’s entryway is an important part of keeping your property profitable and increasing value. Using these strategies, you can also expand your renter demographic while accomplishing these goals.
Are you looking for more ways to make your rental safer – and expand your renter demographic at the same time? Contact Real Property Management San Francisco by reaching out online or giving us a call at 415-989-2000.
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