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Dallas renters, landlords preparing for below freezing temps as arctic blast heads for state

The Dallas Code Compliance Services team says renters and landlords should take steps to be prepared for winter weather.

DALLAS — With the wind and colder temperatures creeping into North Texas, freeze warning signs are already popping up around some apartment buildings.

The City of Dallas Code Compliance team is urging tenants and landlords to be proactive.

“When inclement weather comes into the situation, we get a little bit busier,” said Chris Christian, director of Code Compliance Services for the City of Dallas. 

The Code team said some of the common winter weather-related issues reported around some multi-family structures, or apartment buildings, are hot water and heating outages. 

"These are most affected in the properties that have a chiller heating system that uses water. So, if something happens related to the gas lines, or to the plumbing, then the property loses hot water or heat for the entire property,” said Rosana Savcic, Code supervisor for Multi-family and Single Unit Rental Division. 

The team said tenants should consider renters insurance.

Last winter, renters across the region were dealing with frozen pipes and water leaks.

“It’s better to have and not need, then to need and not have,” said Christian. 

They also suggest families keep a couple of cases of water on hand, just in case there are any outages.

“Have space heaters. If you don’t already own one, it would be good to have a couple of space heaters in the home,” advised Christian. 

The City of Dallas also has some suggestions for landlords and property owners. 

“For owners, we want them to have an emergency plan in place. A proactive plan in case an emergency occurs. What they are going to do for the tenants? How they’re going to response quickly to ensure the residents get what they need," said Christian. 

The Code team suggests part of that property owners’ plans should include a partnership with nearby hotels and motels. They also advise keeping a catalog of vacant units, should tenants need to be temporarily housed.

“For property owners, just keep up with routine maintenance. The preventative maintenance on hot water heaters, the plumbing, the valve,” added Christian. 

Should a winter weather-related emergency occur in your rental unit, in addition to properly reporting it to management, Code Compliance also suggests reporting it to 311. Inspectors have 24 hours to respond and determine the scope of that problem. 

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