To most people, Halloween means fun costumes and jack-o-lanterns, but to landlords and property managers, the holiday requires some extra though and action to ensure that both tenants and visitors stay safe and have fun.
Apartments can be a really fun trick-or-treat destination for neighborhood kids but anytime you have visitors to the property, you open yourself up to liability for injuries. Also, there’s a lot of information you need to communicate with your tenants about the unique aspects of celebrating Halloween in a rental property.
Many landlords and property managers send out a Halloween note to tenants to give them a few reminders of what special circumstances and conditions must take place during the holiday to keep everyone safe and happy. Deliver the note a week or so before Halloween so everyone has time to read it.
Here are 5 ways to get your apartment complex ready for Halloween:
1. Light up pathways
Since trick-or-treating happens after dark, check out what your apartment complex is like when the sun goes down. Areas that you may think are adequately lighted may surprise you during an evening inspection. Make sure that all light bulbs are working and replace any that have gone out. Motion lights and floodlights can provide extra illumination in shadowy areas of the property. You might even consider putting up temporary lighting for Halloween, such as rope lighting along the fence of a darker community area or those solar lamps used to line sidewalks.
2. Remove obstacles
Because many of your trick-or-treaters will be wearing masks, their vision could become easily obstructed, making it harder than ever to see any obstacles in their path. Make sure all maintenance is done that might cause someone to trip or otherwise get hurt. Combined with dark walkways, obstacles could cause trips, slips, falls and more. Whether it is someone’s garbage can blocking a path or garden hoses stretched across the sidewalk, little obstacles can become big deals on Halloween night.
3. Hold a door decorating contest
Get your tenants in the mood to celebrate and bring the community together by holding a door decorating contest. Set up some guidelines that are appropriate for your rental property and spread the word. Offer prizes for a few different categories, such as the cutest, funniest, scariest and the best of show. This is also a good way to signal to trick-or-treaters which apartments will be handing out candy and which ones to skip.
4. Pet Reminder
In a Halloween note to tenants, remind those with dogs to make sure the animals are secured during trick or treat hours. A parade of strangers can make dogs feel anxious and more likely to turn aggressive out of fear. Even the best behaved dog may try to slip out the open door and run around the property. A dog bite can create a lot of headaches for you as a landlord, so it’s best to ask tenants to be extremely careful when it comes to their dogs.
Let tenants know that it’s just fine to put jack-o-lanterns out for Halloween but ask them to skip the open flames via candles inside. Instead, glow sticks or battery-powered candles will give the same spooky glow without the risk. Some landlords of apartment complexes may even provide glow sticks as an incentive to use them in place of candles inside the pumpkins.
Halloween is fun for people of all ages, and a little extra planning and effort can make your apartment complex the highlight of the neighborhood. With both safety and fun in mind, everyone will enjoy themselves during the holiday.
What steps do you take to get your apartment complex ready for Halloween? Please share this article and let us know your ideas in the comments below.