Guest Blog: How to Prepare your Rental Property for a Safe and Fun Halloween

Image via Black Snow Comics (http://www.blacksnowc...
Image via Black Snow Comics (

By Nicoleta Iudean

Halloween—the most fang-tastic celebration of the year—is just around the corner. Most of your residents, both kids and grownups, will keep busy these days with choosing the spookiest costumes, buying sweets, carving pumpkins and putting up creepy decorations in their apartments. On the other hand, you—as a landlord or property manager—face some serious concerns: the safety of your residents and of your rental properties during this festival of mischief.

So, should you “trick” or should you “treat”? There’s a fine line between being too strict (by issuing specific property regulations for October 31st in order to ensure safety and avoid vandalism), and the temptation to get social and engage with your tenants.

How about doing both? Here are 10 safety tips and 5 event ideas that will help you turn Halloween into a fun celebration for your residents, while ensuring that trick-or-treaters will not egg your apartments for rent.

Safety First: 10 Tips to Prevent a BOO-ming Halloween

  1. Clear the pedestrian walkways and the lawns of your property and remove any hazardous items from people’s paths, such as construction materials, debris, gardening tools, fallen tree branches and other such things. This will help you prevent any incidents that might lead to injuries.
  2. Check the lightning and fix all the bulbs in the walkable areas outdoors (around the pool, on walk-ways, in garages) and indoors (in common rooms, on corridors, in the gym).
  3. Set up a “no real flame candles” rule. No matter what complaints you might get from the residents, explain to them that lots of children in clumsy costumes will get involved in the event, and fire represents a great risk. Suggest instead battery-operated candles or glow-sticks.
  4. Have extra security/more janitors on duty on or around the property on the 31st.  People tend to get overexcited during such celebrations, and things could even escalate into violence. It is best that you are vigilant.
  5. Stay in touch with all emergency services, and reassure anxious residents that if anything should happen, prompt measures will be taken.
  6. Close any vacant apartments, garages and storage rooms that are prone to attract negative behavior, even if only means the throwing of eggs (did you know that this is the main cause of property damage on Halloween?).
  7. Give away free stickers and posters to your residents, and encourage them to stick them on their windows or on the front door, in case they don’t want to be involved in the trick-or-treat madness.
  8. Make a list of homes that kindly accept the celebration and display it in several public spots, so that adults can guide the little goblins only to the selected homes.
  9. Set a specific time during which the tricking and the treating can take place. This will create a sense of order, kids and adults will walk together in larger numbers and everything will end a lot faster. This is also reassuring for non-participating residents, for they will then know when it all ends.
  10. Make sure at least one building official is there to take care of everything and to keep an eye of the Halloween activities on behalf of the residents.

Once you make all the necessary safety arrangements for your renters, start planning the fun:

Image courtesy Seth Long via Flickr

Social Events and Halloween Activities

  1. Organize a costume contest for kids in the common areas and give away prizes for the best costumes: special treats or themed toys.
  2. Decorate the common areas in Halloween style: pumpkins, ghosts, goblins, spiders, vampires and all the rest.
  3. Bring a photo-booth and provide plenty of free Halloween accessories (vampire teeth, wigs, devil horns, face paint, goblin ears, etc.) so that everybody can dress up and take plenty of great photos.
  4. Take photos of the fun night and post later on your blog, Facebook page and other social media channels—this will allow you to better engage with your renters and even attract future ones. 
  5. Host a Halloween themed party for everyone with food and drinks on the house.

What are some frightening stories from past Halloweens at your properties? What’s the worst thing that ever happened, and what are your safety plans for this year?