Landlords Role in Hot Weather

High heat and humidity can be harmful to health, especially for residents of buildings that do not have adequate cooling.

Landlords and property managers can play an important role in protecting residents from heat-related illness. While heat increases the risk for everyone, some residents are more at-risk for heat-related illness including:

  • Seniors
  • People with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart and respiratory conditions or people who cannot move or change position by themselves
  • Babies and young children
  • People who exercise vigorously or are involved in strenuous work outdoors for long periods
  • People taking certain medications

Helping tenants avoid heat-related illness

As a landlord, you can take these simple actions to decrease the risk of heat-related illness for residents:

  • Provide residents access to a cool space for several hours at a time, such as a common room with air conditioning or the basement
  • Keep windows in the hallways slightly open to allow air to circulate
  • Use fans to draw cool air at night, but do not rely on a fan as a primary cooling device during long periods of extreme heat
  • Provide information to residents or post information in areas such as the lobby about effects of heat on health
  • Have building staff check on at-risk residents
  • Provide information about heat-related illness to residents and post information in common areas, such as the lobby.  Print heat-related illness in other languages (link to What to Do During a Heat Alert Living In-Public Health-Environment)

How to help someone with heat-related illness

You can help someone with heat-related illness by recognizing the symptoms and responding accordingly.

Symptoms of heat-related illness to watch for include:

  • Rapid breathing or trouble breathing 
  • Weakness, dizziness or fainting
  • More tired than usual
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Nausea

If you think someone has a heat-related illness:

  • Give the person sips of cool water, not ice cold water
  • Remove extra clothes
  • Sponge or bathe the person with lukewarm water
  • Move the person to a cooler location if possible
  • If you or a resident feel ill, faint, have difficulty breathing or feel disoriented call 911 for immediate medical help