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The Landlord’s Guide to Reducing the Spread of Illness in Apartment Buildings

As part of the effort to “flatten the curve” as it relates to the spread of COVID-19, the CDC’s public health guidance includes numerous measures for staying safe. If you own an apartment building, helping your tenants with measures like social distancing can help solidify the sense of community and show your tenants you care. Below are some tips you can use to keep those who live in your apartment buildings safe and well. 

Encourage Able Tenants to Use Stairs

Social distancing involves maintaining a distance of at least six feet from those who are not immediate members of the household, and this is all but impossible in elevators – many of which are not even six feet across. As such, hanging flyers near elevators and stairway entrances reminding your tenants to use the stairs if they are able-bodied is a great way to help protect them. It’s fantastic for getting exercise, and for those who are unable to use the stairs due to illness, injury, or disability, it keeps the elevators much safer. 

Disinfect Common Areas Frequently

Though it may come at a bit of an additional cost, frequently disinfecting your apartment building’s common areas is important to stopping the spread of COVID-19. This involves cleaning everything from the floors and handrails to the buttons for the elevators, common laundry areas, and even outdoor playgrounds. Ideally, these surfaces should be sanitized several times each day. It is important to use the right types of products, and it is important to use them according to the packaging directions. 

Advise Tenants to Pick Up Mail in Shifts

Though it can get tricky, it may be helpful to organize shifts for tenants to pick up their mail if there’s a common mailroom for your apartment building or complex. Of course, individuals who must leave to go to or from work will want to pick up their mail on the way in or out to help avoid additional exposure, but for those who do not leave for work or school, assigning specific mail pickup times for each floor can go a long way toward quelling any potential crowds. Bear in mind that not everyone will adhere to these guidelines, and there is no real way to enforce them, but simply asking is often enough to prompt your tenants to do what they can to help others in the apartment building

Encourage Social Distancing and Wearing a Mask Everywhere

Finally, if your apartment building has a pool, a playground, or other common areas that tend to see frequent traffic, it’s always a good idea to hang flyers that encourage social distancing and wearing a mask in these locations. Remind tenants to provide at least six feet between themselves or their families and others, and remind them that wearing a mask when walking through hallways or using a common laundry area can protect those who have weakened immune systems or certain medical conditions that may make them more susceptible to illness. 

Often, simply asking your tenants to do the right thing and reinforcing the importance of doing so is all it takes to get almost everyone on board with social distancing measures. Whether it’s in the hallways, in the mailroom, or even outside on the playground, doing your part can help keep people safe and show your apartment community that you truly care about their wellbeing.

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