Leaky faucet? Clogged sink? Overflowing toilet? Water gushing from the apartment above? No one wants to deal with plumbing problems. But can your landlord charge for plumbing repairs in situations like this? The answer is not always a clear one. Read the rest of this entry »
‘apartment maintenance’ Tag
Feel like your landlord won’t fix anything? Maybe you’re dealing with a fridge door that won’t close, a jammed window, or a plumbing leak. Whatever the case, sometimes getting your landlord to pay attention to needed repairs is as useful as telling a wall to change color on its own. Here are a few tips to get your landlord’s attention and (hopefully) resolve your apartment repair problems! Read the rest of this entry »
It’s one of a renter’s worst nightmares: you come home from work to find your carpet soaked and a burst pipe gushing underneath your bathroom sink. You don’t have the tools or expertise to fix it yourself… so what’s a renter to do? When there’s no time to waste and you need apartment maintenance, it’s good to know what you can do right away.
When you’re moving out of an apartment, it’s essential to know what constitutes “normal wear and tear” to most apartment owners. If you want to get your security deposit back, you’ll need to make sure your apartment is as close to as it used to be as you can possibly manage. Sure, small scratches are okay here and there, but how far does that leeway extend? Here are some tips on how to make sure your apartment is ready for move-out.
1. Clean Your Carpets
One of the perks and benefits of living in an apartment is maintenance service. However, sometimes it’s easier to fix a problem yourself than wait for maintenance to arrive. If you’re looking to save time and frustration, follow these simple DIY tips for apartment maintenance.
Having the right tools can solve many plumbing problems. Keeping a plumber’s snake on hand can help you quickly unclog a sink or shower drain without having to call maintenance. Know the difference between a sink plunger and a toilet plunger? If you don’t, odds are you’re using the wrong one for the job. Also think about what you put down the drain. Oils, solids and even coffee grounds can clog up your garbage disposal and kitchen sink. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’ve ever accidentally hit your thermostat the wrong way or heard a funny noise from your refrigerator, you’ve probably wondered what exactly your apartment’s maintenance can assist you with. Read on for some basics about how to approach maintenance problems in your apartment.
Major Fixes Are a Must
Your landlord is responsible for anything structurally wrong in your apartment, no matter what. If there are any plumbing problems, leaks, or anything that affects the structural integrity, your landlord must take care of it in a timely manner. If you’re renting in an older building, even simple problems could be a sign of a more deep-rooted issue in the infrastructure and should quickly be taken care of. Unfortunately, a problem like this might lead maintenance to spend a couple days in your apartment – good thing it’s on business days. Read the rest of this entry »
This week on our apartment living blog we are featuring a guest post! “The Scoop On Move-in Day” is written by Jasmine, a student at The University of Texas at Austin. It is an account of her experiences and the tips she learned from moving into her first apartment!
The Scoop On Move-in Day:
Move-in day has finally arrived. You’ve re-read your lease a thousand times and completed the Moving Checklist, now you are ready to just get everything from the moving truck into your new apartment. Before you do, there are a few things that need to be done in order to get started on your apartment living experience.
When you pick up your keys for the first time, there are a few things you can expect. If you did not pay your rent upon signing a lease, you will be required to make payments on any leftover administrative fees, as well as your first month’s rent. If you are responsible for utilities, don’t forget to provide your account number to your leasing manager to avoid being charged.
Figure out how you will pay your rent and bills each month. Will you set-up online regular bill payments, write checks or buy money orders? Your bank will probably be most helpful when it comes to figuring out what you need.
For the student living in a college apartment there are probably many overlooked minor mishaps in your new apartment. If there is a crack in the refrigerator or a chip on the baseboard, document it and take pictures. Make note of any and every imperfection to make sure you are not responsible for damages. The more details you can provide, the better. Dated photos will serve as proof in the event that you are charged after documentation.
There is most likely a section in your lease that includes completing an inspection room by room. This sheet will need to be turned in to your leasing manager within 24-48 hours to determine if maintenance work will need to be ordered.
Organizing Your New Space
Bedding, towels, a change of clothes, and cleaning supplies are the first items you will need to unpack after a long day of work. You will need a good night’s rest before organizing everything you own. Finding a place for everything is key to apartment living, since the space is generally smaller than what you are normally used to. Don’t hesitate to set a timeline to finish unpacking. You don’t want to spend 6 months unpacking boxes, only to realize you will be packing again in 3 months.
Our friends in the midwest and northeast can testify that when snow storms hit, they’re reminded of the conveniences of apartment living. We’ve been seeing buzz on Twitter about apartment management taking care of snow shoveling duties on and around properties in affected areas this week. For residents, this means one less stress associated with navigating these blustery days. Snow buildup is a safety hazard, after all. This is just one scenario in which apartment residents really appreciate onsite maintenance.
Opting for apartment living means you’re in the clear when it comes to grounds maintenance and landscaping. This makes renting apartments the ideal scenario for busy professionals and students, who don’t have time or interest in handling those concerns. Another of the most frequently sited benefits of apartment living is its flexibility. Not sure if you’ll be staying in your current city for very long? As a renter, you can stay open to career and educational opportunities in other cities or states. Even if you’re feeling pretty firmly rooted where you are, renting means you can try out different neighborhoods in your city and find your favorite before making the major commitment of buying a home.
Maintenance does more than make sure the outside of your complex is in good shape. You can submit a maintenance request over the phone or online anytime something goes wrong in your unit. Whether the dishwasher breaks down or the central heater has stopped working (hopefully not this month), you can usually get a quick resolution at no additional cost. This is not only simpler, but also much cheaper than having to track down a plumber or other specific technician to fix things around the house.
Speaking of money, that’s a significant reason to rent in and of itself. Apartment living is cost efficient because rent is generally cheaper than the mortgage payments associated with owning a home. Utility bills are even cheaper for an apartment than a house. So what are you waiting for? Time to find an apartment that’s absolutely perfect for you. Whether you seek a small efficiency studio or a 4-bedroom place to share with friends, ApartmentSearch.com can help. Use our handy search tools to track down Dallas apartments, Phoenix apartments, Austin apartments, Seattle apartments and more.
Maybe You Should Be the Manager at Your Apartment Complex
The apartment manager role might be a good fit for you if you enjoy working with people, are fairly organized and have a common-sense knowledge of home improvement. Apartment managers do get their share of grief and guff, but they also usually get good compensation: discounted or free rent.
In general, apartment manager jobs require you to work full time, but small apartment complexes won’t require a full-time commitment. If you’re looking to be a part-time apartment manager, though, keep in mind that your compensation might be proportional to the amount of time you work.
Apartment Manager Can Mean a Lot of Things
Another caveat is that many owners expect different things from their apartment managers. Some apartment managers are responsible for handling small repairs, tending the grounds and running credit reports for new tenants. Others simply collect checks, keep records and show units to people who want an apartment for rent.
As the owner’s on-site representative, an apartment manager needs to:
- know when an apartment maintenance or emergency situation needs the owner’s attention
- be available on weekends and after-hours for emergencies
- fill vacancies quickly
- be aware of apartment safety issues
- know how to handle late rent and evictions
- treat everyone fairly and professionally.
How To Become an Apartment Manager
Obviously, the best apartment manager opportunity is in your own complex. You already live there and know what the situation is. Ideally, you even have a positive relationship with the owner or the departing apartment manager. Of course, it helps if you’re already handy with a wrench and hammer or have worked on home improvement or construction projects.
Also, check Craigslist.org and the classifieds. Ask local property management companies and independent property managers if they know of any opportunities. You might find it advantageous to contact local real estate schools about certification.
Of course, if you live in a full-service apartment complex with a staffed leasing office, 24-hour security and all the amenities, chances are the leasing office staff already take care of all the apartment manager responsibilities. Still, it never hurts to inquire if that staff has any vacancies. If none of them live in the apartment complex, you already have the potential to be a big asset to the group by virtue of proximity.
Good luck, and remember, Apartment Search is your place to find an apartment and earn up to $200 in renter rewards when you sign that lease.
Apartment Maintenance Doesn’t Have to Be a Nightmare
Dealing with apartment maintenance is part of the reality of renting a college apartment, loft apartment, or standard efficiency apartment. Most apartment managers will try their best to fix your problems promptly. Here are a few simple yet useful tips you might try to get good results from the apartment maintenance folks at your complex. Also, don’t forget to look into buying renters insurance, which will protect you from damage if you had a huge maintenance problem that led to water damage.
Apartment Maintenance: Act Fast!
If you have a leak in your apartment, don’t let the water run all over everything, puddle on the floor and cause more damage. Even if you’re not mechanically inclined, stick a bucket under there to catch the water, and wipe up any excess. See what you can do to slow down or stop further damage from happening, unless you feel it would put you or your family in danger. Move your microwave, DVR, cable television box, and any other items out of the way of any apartment maintenance mishap.
In the same manner, if something is broken, don’t continue to use it. If the garbage disposal has stopped eating up your veggies and sounds like it’s dying, stop using it and alert any family members or roommates to do the same until apartment maintenance can take a look at it.
Give Correct Information to Apartment Maintenance Personnel
You may have to leave a message or explain the situation so that the apartment maintenance crew can decide where your job falls among all of the others they have to deal with. Be prepared with truthful and detailed answers to the following questions:
- What’s the problem?
- When did it start or happen?
- How did it happen? What was the situation?
If you did something to cause the damage, you might as well confess. He or she will probably figure it out and the apartment maintenance person will have a better idea of what replacement parts to bring.
- How serious is it? Can it wait or is it an apartment maintenance emergency?
Don’t be the one who cries wolf. If you leave messages constantly saying “It’s an emergency” and “I need someone immediately,” they may soon begin to drag their feet on your calls, and with good reason. They have real emergencies to deal with, so save phrases like “as soon as possible,” “emergency,” and “immediately” for when you truly need them. If you’re in doubt, describe what damage or risks are being caused to the property or yourself. For example, “My sink is leaking, and the water is soaking into the floor” or “My fusebox just blew up, there are sparks coming out, and I’m afraid to go near it.” Many apartment managers now have a separate number just for emergencies, only use it for that purpose.
Follow Up on Your Apartment Maintenance Issue
Many apartment complexes don’t have 24/7 maintenance service. If you call Saturday evening with a problem that is not an emergency, like a broken dishwasher, chances are you won’t get help until Monday, Tuesday, or even Wednesday. But if 24 hours goes by, and no one has called to let you know it’s on the apartment maintenance list, call up and ask to make sure someone received the message. Just like with your own phone and family, messages can get lost or erased by mistake.
Always Express Thanks for Maintenance Help
Finally, even if you’re upset that it took longer than you thought it should, chances are your apartment maintenance worker is just trying to do his or her job. Be sure to tell them thanks!