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How to Make Your Rental’s Entryway More Accessible

Elderly West Richland Man Walking Up the Path to the Front DoorAs a West Richland rental property owner, the safety of your tenants is a top priority. But you also need a property with significant curb appeal. The most profitable investment properties combine the two by building attractive, accessible entry areas. By securing that your tenants can come and go with ease, you can significantly lessen slips and falls on the property.

But an accessible entryway isn’t only about safety. By developing an accessible entry into your rental property, you can boost your potential renter demographic and attract seniors or renters with accessibility needs. Furthermore, we will pay attention to ways that you can make your property’s entryway both safer and more aesthetically pleasing.

Entry points to a house control access to the property. This is what makes them such an important aspect of preparing your home for tenants. Most single-family rental homes are not normally created with easy accessibility in mind. This is certainly true of older homes, which often come with safety hazards like rail-less steps or slippery walkway materials. Newer homes may have the same challenges, but improved building codes and a better understanding of universal design has drastically improved accessibility in countless ways.

No matter when your rental property was built, it’s vital to begin by evaluating it from an accessibility standpoint. To get a realistic portrayal of how accessible your rental home is, begin with a slow walk through entry areas, and check for potential issues. Walk from the edge of the property line up the driveway and front walkway. Observe how smooth the walkway surfaces are and whether there are damaged areas that might trip someone or cause a wheelchair to get stuck. It is better if you 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 challenging for some tenants to use them safely. This is also similar to right-angle turns. Try to replace 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 enticing feature to the front of the house as well.

Another big trouble area for entryway accessibility is the front steps. Although common, steps can make it very 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 an issue. The best home designs have no steps into the house. But even though your property has one already, there are things you can do to make your entryway more accessible.

If your rental home doesn’t have it already, 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 perfectly placed for clear illumination of each step. Also, think about adding non-slip strips or material to the steps.

If your accessibility planning needs you to invest some money into enhancing your front steps, consider using that same money to replace them entirely. Based on how high the front doorstep is, it might be more cost-effective to create a staircase to the front door. Most of the best entryway ramps don’t even look like ramps. Actually, they were designed so well that they look no different from a slightly raised cement walkway with a gradual upward slope. In this fashion, you can upgrade the curb appeal of your property while still adding a low-profile ramp that will significantly enhance the safety of the entry areas.

 

Are you looking for more ways to make your rental safer – and expand your renter demographic at the same time? Feel free to contact Real Property Management Tri-Cities by reaching out online or give us a call at 509-572-5440.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.