This article was posted on Friday, Nov 01, 2013


  1. Conduct  a smoke detector battery exchange twice  a year at all properties.  Keep  alog of the exchange with tenant’s acknowledgement.
  2. Perform routine maintenance and have maintenance contracts (i.e. yearly furnace cleaning and inspection, etc.)
  3. Check  or and remove any accumulations of debris around furnaces within three      feet of circuit boards or fuse boxes.
  4. Exterior maintenance:  Keep trees, bushes and other landscaping trimmed back to improve visibility.  Maintain exterior lighting.
  5. Sidewalks, driveways and parking areas should present a smooth safe walking surface.
  6. Keep  paper records of interactions with tenants, including a phone log of all      calls from tenants.
  7. Use an  inspection checklist for every visit to the apartment.
  8. Have  signs posted at the playground and pool if the areas are unsupervised.
  9. Prior to applying any chemicals to the interior or exterior of the building, advise the tenants.
  10. To  minimize reactions to paint, thinners, carpet glues or new carpet, ventilate the area.
  11. Address the presence of mold as quickly as possible to reduce tenant reactions to mold spores.
  12. In  buildings built prior to 1970, check for, then remediate any lead paint present in the building.
  13. Fence  pools and use self-closing gates, mark the depths and place signs if  lifeguards are not present.
  14. Keep emergency exits clear and unobstructed; in common areas, install exit signs and emergency lights.
  15. Handrails 41 inches high with openings between balusters no larger than four inches  should be installed on all stairs and ramps.
  16. Current  certificates of insurance should be maintained for all contractors who  perform work on your premises.  You      should use a subcontractor agreement containing a hold harmless      (indemnification clause) in your favor and be named as an “additional  insured” on the subcontractor’s general liability policy, preferably on a “primary and con-contributory” basis.       This will serve to reduce your liability, damage or injury exposure  if a loss is caused by the contractor.
  17. Check your playground – does it comply with the recommendations of the Consumer  Product Safety Commissions recommendations?  (

Public Playground Safety Checklist

  1. Make sure surfaces around playground equipment have at least 12 inches of wood  chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel, or area mats made of safety-tested      rubber or rubber-like materials.
  2. Check that protective surfacing extends, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.
  3. Make sure play structures more than 30 inches high are placed at least nine feet apart.
  4. Check for dangerous hardware like open “S’ hooks or protruding bold end.
  5. Make sure spaces that could trap children such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
  6. Check for sharp points or edges in equipment.
  7. Look out for tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps and rocks.
  8. Make sure elevated surfaces like platforms and ramps have guardrails to prevent a fall.
  9. Check playgrounds regularly to see that equipment and surfacing are in good  condition.
  10. Carefully supervise children on playgrounds to make sure they’re safe.

Editor’s Note:  Be sure to call for your FREE money-saving quote from our exclusive AOA Group Insurance Program at 800-227-7434 or visit  Many AOA members are enjoying substantial savings on their insurance costs.

Reprinted with permission of the Vermont Apartment Owners Newsletter.


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