AVOID IONIZATION SMOKE ALARMS
Ionization smoke detectors sound an alarm when smoke interferes with an electric current flowing continuously through an ionization chamber. Photocell detectors sound an alarm when smoke deflects a beam of light to a photocell. Although photocell detectors are a few seconds slower in detecting rapidly burning fires, they're faster in detecting smoldering fires, but their biggest advantage for landlords is this: they don't sound false alarms, so tenants don't disable them.
Some cities, and some states, now require new residences to have photocell detectors rather than ionization detectors.
Don't wait for a law requiring you to install photocell detectors. Be on the safe side. Install them now.
AVOID KWIKSET® SMARTKEY(tm) LOCKS
As a landlord, I'm always changing locks. I learned how to disassemble and rekey locks in order to eliminate repeated trips to my neighborhood locksmith. I can rekey a lock in just a few minutes.
When I learned about Kwikset SmartKey locks, I was delighted because they were supposed to enable anybody to rekey them in seconds with one simple tool and without even removing the lock from the door.
I bought four, keyed them alike, and installed them at a rental unit. Within three weeks one of them failed. The key would simply not turn in the cylinder. The tenant was inconvenienced and so was I, so much so that I decided to alert other landlords to their unreliability.
If you want to rekey your locks quickly and you want them to work reliably, buy them from landlordlocks.com. They don't fail.