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How to Make Your Rental’s Entryway More Accessible

Elderly Holden Man Walking Up the Path to the Front DoorAs a Holden rental property owner, the safety of your tenants is a top priority. Although you also need a property with fantastic curb appeal. The most profitable investment properties combine the two by creating attractive, accessible entry areas. By ensuring that your tenants can come and go with ease, you can substantially reduce slips and falls on the property.

Other than an accessible entryway isn’t just about safety. Through creating an accessible entry into your rental property, you can expand your potential renter demographic and attract seniors or renters with accessibility needs. Later in this, we’ll take a closer look at 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. Many single-family rental homes are not necessarily built with easy accessibility in mind. That is especially true of older homes, which often come with safety hazards like rail-less steps or slippery walkway materials. Newer homes may have the same issues, but improved building codes and a better understanding of universal design has substantially improved accessibility in many ways.

No matter when your rental property was built, it’s important to start by evaluating it from an accessibility standpoint. To get a precise picture of how accessible your rental home is, begin with a slow walk through entry areas, searching for potential 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 applies to the right-angle turns. Consider replacing 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. While not unusual, 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 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.

If your rental home doesn’t already have one, begin by installing a sturdy handrail and good exterior lighting. Railings should extend at least one foot beyond the bottom of the stairs, and lights should be placed carefully for clear illumination of each step. Also, consider adding non-slip strips or material to the steps.

If your accessibility planning needs you to invest some money into improving 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 manner, 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.

Are you looking for more ways to make your rental safer – and expand your renter demographic at the same time? Contact Real Property Management Metro West-Worcester by reaching out online or give us a call at 508-329-6000.

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.