The Top Property Management Newsletter and Events for June 2022

It’s June in Indiana!

We wanted to bring you a round up of the latest news, ideas and tips to maximize your experience as a landlord or REALTOR®.

Weather Service Predicts HOTTER Summer

Summer 2022 is expected to be hotter than average across a broad swath of the United States, according to an updated outlook from The Weather Company, an IBM Business, and Atmospheric G2.

An expansive area from the Great Basin and Rockies to the Plains, Midwest and interior Northeast is forecast to see temperatures that are the most above average from June through August. The most persistently hot conditions, relative to average, might set up in parts of the upper Midwest.

Meanwhile, summer heat may be a bit more muted, relative to average, across parts of the Southeast and Gulf Coast.

Keep in mind this outlook is an overall three-month trend. Therefore, we will likely see periods that are hotter or cooler in each respective region of the country when compared to what is shown.

Overall, the setup this summer looks similar to last summer.

Forecasts are trending toward a rare “triple-dip”, or third consecutive La Niña this fall and winter.

Five of the past six summers preceding La Niña winters have been hot overall in the U.S., according to Todd Crawford, director of meteorology at Atmospheric G2.

Various extended forecast models are also indicating it will be hotter than usual in the North and below average heat in the South.

There’s also an expansive drought from the Plains to the West that may influence summer temperatures. Drier soil heats up faster than moist ground and can boost areas of high pressure aloft often associated with heat waves.

Below is a month-by-month breakdown of the summer forecast.

June

June is expected to be most anomalously hot from the Desert Southwest to the Rockies, Plains and upper Midwest, particularly in areas parched by drought from the Plains westward.

July

The northern Rockies, Northern Plains and upper Midwest are most likely to swelter in a hotter than average July in 2022.

Areas from the central Rockies to Oklahoma to the Great Lakes are also expected to have a hot month.

The Southeast and much of the Gulf Coast may have a somewhat cooler than usual July. With the focus of the heat farther north, this could leave the Southeast in a pattern of humid, but less hot easterly winds.

The best chance of a cooler July, however, may be in the Southwest, where an early start to the wet phase of the monsoon – summer thunderstorm season – is expected, as happened last summer.

August

The core of August’s anomalous heat is expected from the Great Lakes to northern New England.

However, a generally hot August is forecast from the Missouri Valley to the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic.

For the same reasoning discussed in the July section above, August heat is expected to be muted, overall, from the Desert Southwest to the Carolinas and Florida.

So, What Does That Mean For The Property Manager?

It means that you need to take steps now to prepare your property and your tenants for a hot summer. If you have questions about what you need to do to prepare, Contact Dan Baldini today and set up a time for a one-on-one conversation (Get On Dan’s Calendar) to discuss your real estate rental options.

Landlord Tips for Extreme Heat

(WRITTEN BY )

July 1995, in the historic Chicago heat wave 465 people lost their lives. Fast forward to 2003 during the European heatwave and some put the fatalities as high as seventy thousand. This year heat waves affected the East Coast and even Alaska. As extreme heat is one of the deadliest natural disasters, it’s important to take heat wave preparation seriously.

Start with a Cool House

Air Conditioning

In many states and local areas, air conditioning is not a requirement for rental properties. Having said that, they are a sought after amenity that could provide needed relief in a heat wave. If your tenants have requested air conditioning, perhaps now is a good time to review how you handle reasonable requests as approving them might improve turnover rates while providing a cool environment.

If you choose to install one, and in the event of a malfunction be familiar with local and state laws regarding the responsibilities of repair or replacement.

Fans

Leading up to and sometimes during extreme heat, fans can be useful, especially when humidity or temperatures begin to drop such as in the evenings. As humidity rises, it is inconclusive if fans are helpful as they may create a false sense of comfort as humidity makes it harder for sweat to evaporate.

However, used wisely, they may bring down body and room temperature if used in conjunction with wet clothing or sheets to create evaporative cooling. Purchase fans with high-quality motors for quiet enjoyment. A quiet fan will be utilized more often than a loud; noisy one.


Insulation and Sealing

Keeping cool in and heat out will go far in keeping your tenants happy. Make sure your rental is insulated properly. Consider adding insulation to the ceiling, walls, and underfloor if not currently installed. Seal all seams and cracks to stop cool air from escaping. Provide weather-strip doors to keep heat out and cool in.


Windows

Consider installing insulating windows and/or window glazing (double-glazing, secondary glazing) or window films. If the tenant is not responsible for window coverings, consider blinds and drapes that provide the optimal heat and sunblock.

Don’t forget the exterior. External sunshades and awnings help bring the temperature down. While you are addressing the exterior, it may be a good time to install insect-proof security screens so windows can be opened during cooler temperatures at night.


Appliances and Lighting

Switch out incandescent or halogen light bulbs to the longer-lasting LED bulbs. LED bulbs emit less heat and will also cost less in usage as they draw less energy. In an apartment or other multi-unit housing, it is cost-efficient to switch to LED but consider switching single dwelling rentals to LED as well. It won’t lead to a cooler house but it will contribute to your local energy conservation efforts and save money. If you are thinking of upgrading appliances, be sure to install energy-efficient appliances as they produce less heat.


Landscaping

What grows around the home can impact the home in many ways from added security and privacy to cooling; especially useful in extreme heat. Planting deciduous plants near windows and use other low maintenance landscaping such as evergreen trees and bushes to provide shade.


Community Spaces

In multi-unit community housing such as an apartment complex or multi-home, if you have a common area, consider all the above to create a cool environment where your tenants can find relief. You may want to have a backup generator installed in the community space in the event of a power outage. Have cold water and cooling cloths available to pass out during an extreme heat episode.

Prepare Extreme Heat Educational Material

Well-informed property managers and landlords can pass on awareness and information to their tenants which potentially may help save lives. This material should be prepared and distributed before the next extreme heat event. Items to provide should include:

  • Heatwave safety tips and government safety information.
  • Hot vehicle warnings
  • Suggestions on children, older adults, and pet care
  • Location and contacts for shelters and emergency personnel
  • Information on how to deal with the unexpected.

Summer Maintenance Checklist

It’s important to be prepared for any disaster with a good disaster preparedness plan. Although heat waves have been known to show up in spring and fall, not just in summer, keeping your properties maintained is vital. As each season has it’s own maintenance routine, as heat waves are the deadliest of disasters, summer is especially important to home maintenance.

One item to put on your summer maintenance list is to advise your tenants to make sure all fans are switched to the counter-clockwise position for optimal cooling during the summer months. When the heat of the season is over, they can switch it back for fall and winter.

Keeping Your Cool

Sometimes in the service industry caring for your properties and tenants, it’s easy to forget to take time to care for you and your office. Take time to weatherize and cool your office down as well. If you have employees, especially those that are required outdoor exposure, provide them with the best support and direction during times of high heat as heat stress can be dangerous. Be sure to follow good advice on keeping you and your staff cool.

Conclusion

A cool house in summer equals happy residents. Knowing the potential dangers to address and learning about extreme heat and a heat wave phenomenon is a good place to start.

Heather Peake  

Heather, a writer in the rental and property management industry, applied her skills as an onsite property manager and landlord for many years. She now focuses on sharing her research and insider insights with landlords and property managers in the trenches.

10 WAYS TO SUMMER-IZE YOUR RENTAL PROPERTIES

Each season brings a new wave of routine maintenance for rental property owners and managers. With the first official day of summer only a couple weeks away, actively preparing your rentals for the hot weather months with summer maintenance will keep your property functioning optimally and your tenants happy.

Now is the time to spruce up your common areas and perform routine maintenance and inspections that took a back burner to harsh weather and urgent requests through the colder months.

1) Inspect the air conditioning unit

Before your tenants start running the a/c continuously to combat the summertime heat, make sure it is functioning properly before a simple fix becomes an expense repair.  Air filters should be checked and changed regularly, either by you or your tenants.  A badly clogged filter slows down airflow and could cause a cooling coil to ice up and the unit to shut down.  Owners can further invest in the longevity of their air conditioning system by performing their own, or scheduling, a full inspection with a contractor that will include checking thermostats and controls, checking the refrigerant level, tightening connections, lubricating moving parts, checking duct work and the condensate drain, and cleaning the coils and blower.

2) Check windows and doors

While inspecting your rental unit, look for gaps or leaks around windows and doors that could let cold air out or hot air in.  Taking the time to fix a leak with weather-stripping or caulk, will keep the a/c unit working more efficiently to prevent machine stress and will help out on your tenant’s utility bill.

    3) Repair or replace damaged window screens

    While intentionally damaged screens fall on the responsibility of your tenant, now is a good time to remind them of easy ways to repair or replace a screen.  Or offer to do it for them for a fee to help keep bugs and critters out.

    4) Inspect the attic and basement

    Winter storms  and spring showers can create excess moisture and condensation that can cause mold or even compromise the structural integrity of your property if ignored.  Even if your tenants have access to a basement or attic, it may not be a priority to inspect these areas for mold or water damage if they are not regularly used.  You’ll be able to protect your investment by addressing any water damage or excess moisture before it goes unnoticed and causes an expensive repair.

    5) Test Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

    Although your tenants should monitor their own detectors, maintaining these property features can easily get overlooked by passive tenants.  Every detector should have a test button, and batteries should get changed biannually.

    6) Check and clean dryer vents

    Lint and debris can build up overtime in dryer vents, which can damage the appliance and even cause fires. While the dryer is running, check that the exhaust is coming out. If there isn’t much exhaust, check for blockages and clear them as well as you can. You may need a professional. Also may also nee to vacuum the lint from the hose at the dryer.

    7) Check Your Sprinkler System

    When the temperature starts to climb, it is time to turn on the sprinkler system and make sure it’s in good working order. Every system needs a good annual tune-up and the first heat wave of summer is a great time to do it, ensuring no plants will be without water when they need it most.  Make sure your irrigation system is programmed to follow any water rationing regulations.

    8) Summer Pest Control

    Bugs love warm weather, including ants, mosquitoes, wasps and spiders.  If you choose to use pesticides on your property to prevent insects and pests from invading the grounds, treating your property seasonally will help stop pest before they become a big problem.  Don’t forget to check the nooks and crannies of the exterior of your property for wasp or hornet nests that might pop up this time of year.  And advise your tenants on the best way to handle any ants that seek refuge inside your tenants’ homes.

    9) Get Your Outdoor Amenities Ready

    If you property offers outdoor amenities like pools, fire pits or grills, make sure everything is clean and working well.  Summertime calls for entertaining in outdoor spaces, and providing your tenants with functioning features is part of the reason they chose to rent from you in the first place – don’t let them down!

    10) Check in with your tenants

    Whether you send out a seasonal tenant newsletter, or simply send them a friendly email, checking in with your tenants at least once a quarter is a great way to stay connected and remind them to be open about communicating any questions or concerns they have about the rental property.  This time of year is also a good time to remind your tenants of summer outdoor property rules, like quiet hours or pool rules, and offer tips for tenant summer maintenance like optimum a/c temperatures and city regulated water usage.

    Check with A Professional Property Management Company

    A good property management company can be the missing link to solving so many pain points for property owners—and reinvigorate the way business is done.

    A great property management company can bring all the elements of owning rental property seamlessly together. It can increase efficiency while reducing costs, allowing you to do much more with less. It can offer mobile-first experience to you as the owner, your residents, and staff.

    And, in a time when we’re all trying to give each other a little distance, it allows property management businesses to keep running with zero-touch processes that are fast, easy, and safe. And more than features, it’s about the team and the partnership that you’ll receive. The idea of committing to a new management company, still, can be overwhelming—a Google search for property management companies in Indianapolis returns over 11 million results. (Crazy – who knew?) So, where do you even begin? 

    Polaris Property Management is not for everyone – If you are a property owner that wants to self manage because you prefer to maintain control over the daily decisions, you enjoy meeting and picking tenants, control every detail of maintenance and repairs.

    But, If you’re a property owner that doesn’t have the time or expertise, or are looking for more freedom in your daily life, then contacting Polaris Property Management company can be a great option.