Whether you’re welcoming new tenants into your property or you’re a new tenant making a move, summer is a less than ideal time to move in the Houston area. In August, days average 93 degrees Fahrenheit, while July tends to be wet, averaging over 5 inches of rain. In fact, Houston weather is so tough to tolerate in the summer that many property owners find that rentals slow down in the summer. That’s why, when tenants make that big move during difficult weather, it’s always nice to offer some support.
By taking cues from the moving etiquette book, as well as accounting for the particular challenges presented by Houston weather, you can make the moving process more pleasant for everyone – and get the tenant-landlord relationship off on the right foot. Plus, once you get into the habit of supporting tenants with their move in basic ways, it will become a natural part of the transition process.
Keep Water On Hand
On hot days, it’s important that everyone stays hydrated. That includes landlords who are moving between buildings, tenants, and the moves. With that in mind, consider stocking up on a few cases of bottled water. You can give them to tenants when they come into the office to sign their contracts and get their keys, put them in the refrigerator, and make sure that the movers have access to them. If you don’t provide the water, your new tenants will likely find themselves scrambling off to the closest grocery store halfway through the move when they realize they should give the movers some water. Take that worry off of their hands.
Turn On The Air
As with supplying water, another thing that you should be sure to do as landlord is get the air conditioner up and running before move in – but first, check to make sure it’s in working order. Replace the air conditioner’s filter, clean the vents, and make sure there aren’t any coolant links. This will ensure that the home is a comfortable temperature when your tenants arrive and that they aren’t sweating too much, though some sweat is unavoidable in the Houston heat.
In some cases, tenants may be expected to bring their own air conditioners, particularly if you are renting out a home rather than an apartment. If that’s the case, set up a few portable fans or any in-home ceiling fans in advance of your tenants’ arrival and encourage them to have their air conditioners readily available for installation when they arrive. The building may be warm, but if you can cool it down quickly, everyone should be comfortable.
Offer Up Cover
Moving in the rain is a terrible experience, but no one wants to reschedule. With that in mind, consider investing in a covering that goes from the parking area to the front of the home. All you need is a pop-up tent, the kind one would use to cover a driveway. You may not need it if it’s just drizzling out – that can actually be refreshing – but in an all-out storm, a tent will keep everyone and their belongings dry.
Arrange For Parking
Your new tenants navigated getting everything on the truck, but when it pulls up to park, you need to have made arrangements. Alert neighbors that a moving truck is coming and arrange for them to move their cars so that everyone faces as little inconvenience as possible. This will make sure there’s a direct path for movers carry furniture and boxes and that current residents don’t get blocked in by the truck.
Create A Welcome Package
You’ve already provided some water, but don’t forget about a few other welcoming touches. This welcome package should include some toilet paper, paper towels, and multipurpose cleaner. Of course, your tenants are moving into a clean home, but some of their possessions may be dusty or dirty from being packed away. Dish soap and a sponge or a small set of picnic plates and cutlery are also a nice touch since it may take your tenants a few days to find their actual cups and plates. Finally, if there’s a neighborhood ice cream parlor, a small gift certificate is a nice way to ensure your new tenants can enjoy a cool treat on a hot day and get to know the area.
Typically, you can’t reschedule a move, but sometimes you need to be accommodating. That’s because Texas is subject to hurricanes and tropical storms from June to November, and that can be a real problem for families and movers. If at all possible then, see if you may be able to move tenants in slightly early if a storm is predicted or delay the move until after it has passed. Movers likely won’t want to work under severe storm conditions, so this will take everyone’s safety into account in the process. And of course, never charge tenants extra on prorated rent to move in early if it’s due to dangerous weather conditions.
Things will be chaotic on moving day, especially if the weather is bad, so be sure that follow up with your new tenants to make sure everything is working well and find out if there’s anything they need in the coming days. Many tenants struggle to get their cable set up or their electric transferred into their name, and they can use the guidance. They may also want to know about local stores, transit, and other amenities that go beyond the initial welcome package.
Don’t worry if all of this is overwhelming, though – help is out there. Green Residential specializes in Houston-area property management, so if you’re feeling stressed about organizing all of these moving day details, don’t worry.
Contact Green Residential today to learn more about our comprehensive property management services. From the initial tenant screening period to move in day and beyond, we’re equipped to handle any of a range of difficult situations, including hurricanes and Houston’s hottest days. Don’t let sky-high heat drive off your tenants when Green Residential can help you welcome them home.