One of the most frequently seen things in a personal injury attorney’s office is a slip and fall suit. While there are loads of things online about how to defend against such suits, and attorneys that will help with that: it’s usually just better to not have the situation where an accident can occur in the first place. As a property manager, keeping properties safe is certainly one of many areas everyone can improve on just a little bit.
Inspecting each property almost every square foot by square foot can help to look for dangerous problems. If you can, have a daily walk around, but once a week just to check up on things is usually best.
As you do inspect your property, pay attention to your landscaping for any problems that may arise. This can be holes or plants that animals have caused, it can be poisonous plants or wasp and bee nests, standing water, dead branches on trees- keep your eyes open well, and you can spot potential hazards before they become problematic. You’ll want to mark those areas with yellow warning tape until the issue has been corrected.
Take the time to really look at your stairs, railings, and other areas that can become dangerous if only a slight risk is present. Nonslip grips for stairs are a good idea, visual cues can help those who may have issues with depth perception and the handrails need to be secure. When you get to the stairwells, you should check your emergency back up lights and make sure that there are exit signs where needed.
The pool is also a big area of concern- as Crystal noted and you can find more steps there. However, make sure that the pool deck is non-slip, there are no diving warnings posted, and have flotation devices that are approved by the US Coast guard nearby. If you do have multi family units, it’s typically a much better idea to have a lifeguard on duty than it is to allow swimmers to “use at your own risk”.
If the property has a playground: make sure that equipment is always in top form. There should not be any rough edges, rust, chipping paint or broken equipment. Make sure that the fence is completely secure and that it can be locked when needed. Additionally, having a few signs that restrict access to children that are with an adult and informing others that children are at play are a smart idea.
One way to protect yourself from frivolous lawsuits is to document every effort you have made in your property management software. Take photos and make sure that the date is listed on all signs and markers. Lastly, when in doubt, have your real estate attorney do a walk through.