Many modern apartment complexes are outfitted with modern technology that enables tenants of all kinds to occupy their space. Elevators help those who have trouble with stairs, grab bars are essential for folks with mobility issues, and handicap parking spots are increasingly common. But if you own a number of various properties in traditional housing units, these apartments might not be handicap accessible.
Crafting a disability-friendly apartment can help open your pool of applicants and prevent issues with discrimination. After all, everyone has a right to housing that meets their needs. If you want to give your current apartments a face-lift, here are some of the best ways to make them more accessible to folks with disabilities.
Ensure your apartments are wheelchair accessible
Ensuring your living spaces can accommodate a wheelchair is essential. An estimated 1% of the globe’s population needs a wheelchair regularly, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This might seem small, but that translates to 65 million people. All of these individuals deserve the right to accessible housing.
Modifying your apartments to accommodate wheelchairs can take some hard work, especially if you’re working with an old house that has tight corners. Here are some of the top things you should do to make your apartments more accessible:
- Install ramps instead of stairs. Low ramps make getting in and out of the house easier. You should also have a ramp leading up to your corporate office.
- Widen doorways. Doorways need to be at least 32 inches wide to accommodate most wheelchairs.
- Prioritize flattening apartments and eliminating thresholds. This will make it easier to transition from room to room.
- Install a handicap-accessible shower, complete with grab bars
- Offer apartments with lower countertops, sinks, and light switches for the ease of the tenant.
Many of these changes are great for folks with any sort of mobility issue. The last thing you want is for your tenant to trip and fall over something preventable. Rely on these tips to start transitioning your apartment into an accessible space.
Prepare for the cold
The winter is a tough time for everyone, but it can be downright dangerous for people with mobility issues. A single slip and fall can send the average person to the nearest urgent care clinic, let alone someone who struggles to walk. Even though urgent cares are ready to take on new patients — after all, they receive more than 15,000 visits a year — preventing these problems from the start should be a top priority.
If you want to take better care of your tenants, there are a few things you can do each winter to make their lives easier:
- Hire a plow service to clear sidewalks, plow parking lots/driveways, and salt common areas, like walking paths.
- Offer a stock of home items that can help your tenants better deal with the cold. Offer affordable window films, underdoor draft stoppers, and anything else that can help your tenants stave off the cold.
- Provide lists of emergency services to better meet the needs of new tenants who might be unfamiliar with the area.
- Perform twice-annual inspections on heating units to ensure a warm apartment.
Did you know that Americans get sick from one billion colds each year? As a landlord, the health and safety of your tenants is a top priority. Ensure all your tenants are safe and cozy this year with these tips.
Make safety a top priority
This is a good rule of thumb for all landlords, but those housing disabled individuals can benefit from alarms most of all. A home alarm system can be the difference between life and death when an accident occurs. Place alarms at strategic locations throughout the home so that they are easily accessible to the person in trouble. When these failsafe are in place, this makes your apartment even more desirable for people from all backgrounds.
Additionally, you should also consider parking as a form of safety. Handicap parking spots are essential in apartment complexes where long walks could increase the risk of a slip and fall. Assign parking spots, clean them regularly, and ensure proper drainage is achieved. Corrosion alone costs the U.S. armed forces more than $5 billion annually — by properly maintaining and cleaning your drainage areas, you’re better protecting your tenants and saving money.
Creating a safe living environment for your tenants is essential, but many landlords overlook the needs of disabled tenants. Rely on these tips to start modifying your apartments today.