If you've discovered that a tenant has passed away in one of your rental properties, you need to take immediate action. If you've never encountered this type of experience before, you may not know what to do. Before you make a mistake, read the information provided below. Here are three steps you need to take right away.
Call the Police
If there's been an unattended death in one of your rental properties, the first thing you need to do is call the police. Unattended deaths require immediate and thorough investigations. This is especially true when the person who passed away wasn't under a doctor's care. Once you've notified the authorities, you should leave the house until investigators can arrive. A coroner will also come out to the house. After the body has been removed, and the investigation is completed, you'll be able to go back into the home. That's when your work will begin.
Secure the Location
Once you've been allowed to return to the home, you'll need to secure the location. You don't want people trespassing through the property, especially before the cleanup has been completed. There may be hazardous materials remaining in the home. This is especially true if a violent death was involved, or if the body had begun to decompose. If you're going to start the cleanup right away, you can secure the location by locking the doors and windows. If you can't begin the cleanup right away, it's best to place plywood over the windows to prevent break-ins.
Arrange for Biohazard Cleanup
If there's been an unattended death in one of your rental homes, you'll need to arrange for biohazard cleanup. You may think that you can take care of the cleanup by yourself. But, that can put you at risk for injuries, and exposure to harmful substances. For unattended deaths, it's best to hire a biohazard cleanup crew. They'll have experience cleaning up the materials that are often present after an unattended death.
If your tenant was under medical care, they may have had sharps materials on the property. If that's the case, you'll need a cleanup crew that's experienced in biohazardous materials. Sharps materials include things like IV tubes, contaminated medical gloves, and used syringes. Those types of materials require special handling.
If your tenant passed away as a result of suicide or homicide, there may be bloodborne materials on the property. This is especially true if suicide was caused by guns or other weapons. Bodily materials include blood, saliva, spinal fluid, or semen. This type of cleanup should never be performed by anyone without the right training, or safety equipment.
To learn more or if you need help, reach out to a local biohazard cleanup service.