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Rental Properties and Holiday Lights: What You Should Know

Most people love to decorate around the holidays, and your renters are probably no exception. Whether it’s an elaborate front-yard extravaganza, or some garland hung on the fireplace mantel, chances are, your renters are bringing the holiday cheer to your property this season.

The truth is, most holiday light displays are perfectly harmless. They’re beautiful, festive, and bring a sense of joy to the person displaying them. However, holiday lights have been known to create hazards in the home, and the last thing you want is for your valuable rental property to become less valuable because of an electrical mishap.

To avoid such problems, consider giving your renters a helpful sheet of things to keep in mind as they set up their holiday light displays this year. Here are some of the things you should include.

What kind of lights to use

Lights should be UL listed, which means they will have been third-party tested for safety. They should also only be used where they are appropriately rated for use; that is, lights that are rated for indoor use only should not be used outside. Packaging should be clearly labeled that the lights are UL listed and rated for a specific type of use, so hopefully this shouldn’t create much confusion in your tenants’ minds.

Good practices for extension cords

Most people know not to load up a single plug with too many extension cords. This can cause electrical problems that could be significant. It can also create a fire hazard.

Common courtesy

Remind tenants that lights should not be left on all night, especially if part of the display flashes or makes some kind of noise.

Keep an eye on things

Exposed wires or broken plugs can cause problems with holiday lights. So, too, can broken bulbs. Make sure your tenants are aware of these problems and remind them to inspect their light strands before setting them up. If they need to replace bulbs, make sure they know to double check what the proper wattage is for the strand. Using the incorrect wattage can create a fire hazard.

Hanging methods

Let your tenants know how you would prefer holiday lights and decorations be hung in the home, both outside and inside. For outdoor lights, you could suggest plastic clips for fixing lights to the house itself, or request that the lights be kept only to the landscaping. For indoors, if you aren’t comfortable with nails or pushpins in the walls, you could suggest Command hooks or strips, which can hold a good amount of weight and won’t do any damage to your walls.

If all goes well, the holidays will pass without incident for you and your renters. Just to be sure, consider reminding them of these tips before they deck the halls this holiday season.

For more help managing your tenants and your rental properties, contact Real Property Management at 480-719-1243. We can help make managing your rental property simple and profitable, by letting our team of experts put their knowledge to good use, for you. Call us today!