A Calgary landlord was ordered to pay over $12,500 in fines for failing to provide smoke detectors and safe emergency access in a secondary suite.
Firefighters noted the omission when responding to a minor fire at the property. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Inexperience No Excuse
According to a news story, the judge in the case doled out the heavy penalty despite the relative inexperience of the landlord because of the potential for catastrophic injury. However, the fine imposed is slightly lower than that requested by the prosecutor.
In this case, the landlord purchased the property with a secondary suite and then failed to inspect for required safety features, according to the report.
It’s no coincidence that the most costly landlord liabilities are related to tenant safety. Many of these safety features are easy and inexpensive to provide, especially when compared to the cost of omission. An added benefit: a unit with solid safety features attracts good tenants.
10 Ways to Reduce Landlord Liabilities
1. Screen incoming tenants. The risks from property damage, apartment fires and other injuries can be significantly reduced by running a tenant background check on your tenants.
2. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test the units during routine property inspections.
3. Train tenants how to open window bars or other emergency exits.
4. Keep hallways and stairwells free from clutter.
5. Conduct regular inspections to flag a hoarder who may be placing others in danger.
6. Maintain good outdoor lighting.
7. Well-maintained landscaping prevents everything from fires and water damage to prowlers and falls.
8. Make it clear in the tenancy agreement who is responsible for snow and ice removal.
9. Use high-quality deadbolt locks.
10. Install one-way peepholes.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.