Emergency Kit for Landlords (Keep in Your Car at All Times!)

Landlord Emergency Kit

Keep in Your Car at All Times :

Landlord duties can require you to be ready on the go! Keeping a steady list of emergency items can assist you in the sticky situations that will require you to get things done without wasting dollars on getting a certified professional for items that are easy for you to complete on your own. Here’s our list of items that should be kept with a landlord while on the go:

Smoke detectors may be regulated by your Village, so, make sure you purchase the appropriate detector for your Village or rental property. Essentially, this means buying smoke detectors that are hard-wired to the home or battery operated. Document the replacement of detector and make sure you buy one with a guaranteed life of 10 years or longer.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors are required in many States in the US and individual States have their own mandates. I like to use the rule of thumb of having a CO detector on each level of the home and within 15′ of each bedroom. Keep in mind, CO detectors last 5-7 years.  Thus, documenting replacement date is highly recommended.  Replacing batteries with daylight savings time change is a rule of thumb I have always tried to follow to keep it in memory.

9V batteries

9 volt batteries are handy whenever you are performing preventative battery life replacement to the smoke detectors and some CO detectors. Remember to document the battery change to limit landlord liability should any claim occur. Relying on tenant to replace batteries is typically suggested on leases, but, what if a claim does occur?  Are you really going to be off-the-hook as a landlord?

Keep in mind, keeping batteries within a car during winter months may reduce the life of the battery.  So, finding a means to keep these spare batteries in an environment for enduring life is recommended.

AA and AAA batteries (for digital thermostats)

Just as with 9V batteries, AA batteries are handy for just about everything else.  Especially, batteries for thermostats! When your tenant calls and tells you the furnace is not working, always start with…”is your thermostat on?” Nothing worse than an HVAC tech service call and minimum service charge only to find out your tenant did not check the thermostat and find that the batteries need to be replaced.

Swiss Army Knife

Do I have a specific reason for this one?  Not really.

Just with everything else in life, a Swiss Army Knife has the tools to get you out of those situations you did not expect! Keep one on hand at all times.

Screwdriver with various screwheads

The most important tool in your toolbox. Broken outlet covers, loose outlets, loose door knobs and locksets, bifold door rails, and the list goes on and on.  Everything in a rental property takes on wear and tear and your screwdriver set will assist with the majority.  Invest in a QUALITY set.


This is just common courtesy.  Bring a quality set of booties to put over your shoes as you enter your tenant’s HOME.  Make sure they are reusable and be disciplined enough NOT to wear them outside.

Your tenant will respect you for your respect you have provided to them!

Electrical Voltage Tester

Outlet not working? Here’s an affordable tool to assist you in understanding if the light switch or outlet is too blame. Keep one in your toolbox as it fits easily in any toolbox.

LED Light Bulbs

Keeping a six pack on LED light bulbs on hand will result in replacing those necessary bulbs that burn out and prevent you from having to replace them for years to come.

Hand Auger for clearing drains

Clogged drains are one of the biggest headaches landlord life provides!  A hand auger will provide you the opportunity to clear the majority of drains without calling a plumber.  Of course, those more complicated clogs may require a power auger. Until your rental business is truly scaled, I would not recommend investing in that tool.

Rubber Gloves and Trash Bags

Who wants to operate a hand auger without rubber gloves and trash bags?  Nobody. What about picking up trash outside the rental?  Not fun to do without gloves and bags handy. Keep these around for peace of mind during those messy situations.

Variety of rubber gaskets for faucet leaks

Having a variety pack handy will assist you with all sorts of leaks that will result from natural wear and tear to your faucets without requiring the time, energy, and cost of replacing those darn faucets.  Here’s a primer for fixing leaky faucets.

Bug Spray for preventative purposes

Tenants complaining of a spider, ants, or the occasional roach will happen. Having spray on hand shows your tenant you are ready and aggressive when pests infiltrate their home. I prefer a bug spray that leaves a residual that is SAFE for pets and children and can be used as an indoor/outdoor spray.  This is CRITICAL.  Make sure the spray is safe for occupants.

Allen wrench set / Monkey Wrench / Socket Set

This wrench set is for everything else. Tightening or loosening bolts is a fact of homeownership and having these simple tools in your vehicle will get you outta some sticky situations.

Do you have an item we should ADD TO OUR LIST?  Please post a comment for other landlords to share!