Landlords: Four Tips for Using Scaffolding When Painting Rental Properties

Scaffolding can be a useful tool if you are painting a house. It gives you height more easily and safely than using a ladder, and it allows you to work faster. If you own rental properties and you are repainting them, you may want to buy or hire scaffolding, but you have to ensure you use it carefully. Here are some tips to help:

1. Set up the scaffolding on a sturdy surface.

Scaffolding works the best on concrete, and if you are painting the front of your rental, the driveway can often provide that. However, in a lot of cases, you will end up setting up the scaffolding on grass, and you should place timber planks underneath it for stability.

2. Take caution with caster wheels.

When you're done painting one area of the house, caster wheels make it easy to move the scaffolding to the next spot, but you need to take certain precautions. Do not move the scaffolding whilst it has equipment or tools on it. They could fall off and hit one of your tenants or injure you. Once you have the scaffolding in place, always lock the caster wheels so that they don't slide around.

3. Consider safety and liability issues if you have tenants help.

If you have tenants who want to help with the painting in exchange for a discount in rent, you need to be especially cautious. You may be liable if your tenant gets hurt on your property, and to protect yourself, make sure that your landlord's insurance covers that risk. Also, insist on safety.

Scaffolding is designed to be safer than ladders. It has a large work surface and side rails, making falling less likely. However, there is always a risk of falls when working at heights, and to mitigate that risk, you may want your tenant or anyone else helping you to wear a safety harness.

4. Lock the scaffolding when you leave.

When you leave the rental at the end of night, make sure that your scaffolding is locked up. You can use a chain to connect it to a bike rack or to anything that is anchored to the ground. Don't chain it to a downspout as a thief could easily cut through that, stealing the scaffolding and damaging your rental property. Also, to reduce the risk that a passerby may climb on the scaffolding, get hurt and try to hold you liable, try to put it somewhere out of the way or even consider dismantling it at night.