Today’s senior citizens are looking for new opportunities to meet new people, travel, and stay active. This mentality to connect and stay active has led to many seniors choosing to live in communities rather than isolated retirement locations.
In senior communities, homes, condos, and apartments are often built with seniors in mind, but technically they’re still independent living dwellings, unlike assisted living facilities. For seniors that want to maintain independent living, a senior community is an attractive option with amenities like golf courses, gyms, and more.
What landlords and property owners should know
With the rise of senior living communities comes the inherent risk of senior individuals that are more susceptible to accidents and injuries. If properties are not up to code and harm a senior resident, property owners could face a negligence claim. There’s been a growing trend of implied obligation for property owners who have seniors injured within senior living communities.
Common apartment dangers & injuries
Landlords are required to provide a safe living space. To mitigate risk, landlords should conduct regular inspections of their properties to identify dangerous conditions that can lead to slip and falls or other accidents. Landlords that fail to stay on top of hazards can face disastrous liability claims. The most common hazards to focus on include:
- Cracked pavement and potholes
- Unstable balconies or decks
- Broken staircases
- Snow and ice
- Damaged flooring
- Poor lighting
- Electrical hazards
- Apartment pools
- Security locks and entrances
- Smoke alarms
Having a proactive plan can help landlords avoid potential problems and keep tenants accountable. Landlord mitigation plans should be in the form of a written checklist that details all potential hazards. Before new tenants move in, the premise should be inspected, and any necessary repairs carried out. Also, landlords can:
- Require tenants to immediately report safety or security problems in the tenant’s unit or a common area like a hallway or parking garage.
- Keep detailed records of all tenant complaints and repair requests, including how and when the problems were fixed.
- Handle urgent repairs immediately — Always address safety issues as quickly as possible.
- Twice a year give tenants a checklist asking them to report potential safety hazards or maintenance problems. Property owners should personally inspect all rental units once a year.
Why senior living insurance is critical
Along with maintaining maintenance, adding an extra layer of protection is wise in senior living apartments. A well-designed property insurance policy can protect a landlord in the case of injuries or losses suffered by others due to defective conditions. Liability insurance will cover the costs of defending personal injury lawsuits.
McGowan Risk Specialists has the expertise to address all of your insurance needs in a senior living community.