|You notice a maintenance problem|
Report it right away. Some problems worsen if left unchecked, such as dry rot and leaks. Tenants may be liable for the damage caused by unreported problems.
|Some time has passed and no repair person has contacted me for an appointment|
Please contact us so we may address the problem.
|You have made an appointment with the repair person|
Be sure to keep the appointment. If nobody is present when a repair person arrives at the appointed time, and you have not rescheduled the appointment, you will be charged for the service call.
|The repair person failed to show up for the appointment|
Please call or email us so we may address the problem.
|The repair did not hold|
Please call us immediately so that we may have the repair person or a new vendor make it right.
|The repair is completed|
Please call or email us so that we can note it accordingly.
|Appliance/system not working|
First, make sure that everything is plugged in and all switches are turned to the "ON" position. Make sure there is no timer that is set, preventing normal operation, such as on a programmable heating/air system.
|Garbage disposal not working|
"Stir" the disposal blades with the handle of a broomstick or other such item. This will often dislodge whatever is causing the unit to jam up. If this does not work, try pressing the reset button, usually found under the sink on the disposal unit. Disconnect power to the unit and then make sure no foreign object has been placed in the disposal. Things such as chicken bones, toys, bottle caps, onion skin, celery, chicken skin and more will get stuck in the blades and cause the disposal to cease working.
|Heat/air conditioner not working|
If it is an electric unit, shut off all the switches at the breaker box, wait several minutes and then turn them all back on again.
Are you enrolled in the Peak Corp program? Your system may be "cycled" by SMUD without your knowledge or your control.
|Too little heat/air|
Change your heating/air conditioning filter. Clogged filters cause the system to work harder and impedes the flow of air through the ducts.
Flip all breakers to the "OFF" position, wait a few minutes and flip them back on.
If it is a gas unit, call PG&E first. Sometimes PG&E can fix small problems, such as the pilot light, at no charge.
Call the appropriate water department first as it may sometimes be the city or county's responsibility depending on where the problem is. If not, they will tell you. If it is, they will fix it promptly.
Windows and screens damaged during tenancy are your responsibility. If glass is broken, immediate replacement must be made with like-kind materials and quality. You may assign repairs that are your responsibility, but a professional job is expected. No deductions from rent will be permitted nor reimbursements of any kind made unless specific arrangements are made in advance.
|Clogged gutters||This could cause water damage to the foundation of the house.|
|Dry rot visible in any area||This could progress rapidly causing major damage)|
|Mistletoe or vines choking a tree||It could kill the tree|
|Tree limbs hanging on the roof||It may invite vermin or damage the roof)|
|A fence in disrepair|
|Trip hazards anywhere, including walkways and driveways|
|Standing water around any area of the house|
|Grout or caulk separating, cracking or splitting|
|Any water leaks anywhere||Unchecked leaks could lead to extensive and expensive damage that may become the tenant's responsibility|
|Chipping or peeling paint|
|Amenity||COMMON CAUSES CONSIDERED TO BE ABUSE AND/OR NEGLIGENCE|
Attempting to dispose of unacceptable stuffs (eg: chicken skin, celery, egg shells, onion skins, artichokes, bones, potato peels, and much more)
Placing too much matter in the disposal at one time
Running the disposal for too long or without enough cold water running
Leaving food residue on the dishes when placing them in the dishwasher
Running it less than once every other month, causing seals to dry out
Using oven cleaner on self-cleaning oven (ruins interior surface)
Grease accumulation on or around burners (can cause electrical fire)
Food spills and overflows (can clog burner lines, ruin elements)
Failure to change the filter every two or three months, which can lead to emission of dangerous fumes, as well as higher heating/AC bills
Leaving the damper closed when starting a fire
Using lighter fluid on wood
Building too large a fire for the size of the fireplace
Leaving the screen/glass doors open while a fire or embers are burning
Foreign objects dropped into toilet bowl
Using excessive amounts of toilet tissue at one time
Flushing inappropriate matter (eg: cigarette butts, paper towels, etc)
Grease and/or hair build-up in pipes
Not using the fan or opening the window while showering, causing mildew
Water splashing out of tub/shower (damages floors, ceilings, causes dry rot)
Telephone wiring damage
Additional telephone jacks/wiring is NOT permitted without prior written approval. If approved, installation and removal must be done by a professional technician.
Over-stuffing, which can cause sliding doors to slip off track and break
Excessive weight hanging on the clothes rods, causing rods to fall/break
As a tenant in a rental community, you have some advantages over homeowners. For example, you don't need to worry about making simple maintenance repairs. What you DO need to worry about is submitting repair requests in a timely fashion. If you wait too long, YOU could be responsible for costly repairs.
Let's visit Suzy Shmoe - a resident of Hypothetical Apartments. Suzy has a leaky washer. When her clothes hit the spin cycle, some of the water inside ends up on the floor. Since Suzy is a busy woman she keeps forgetting to turn in that repair request to her landlord. So to temporarily "fix" the problem, she surrounds the washer with big fluffy beach towels which she replaces after every load. Sure, it's a makeshift job... but by the time she gets home from school, its always too late to get in touch with the landlord, and she's too tired to find him early in the morning. So the problem continues, and replacing wet towels from around the washer becomes more of a routine than a reminder of the leak.
What Suzy doesn't realize is that the constant moisture on the laundry room tiles is causing them to warp and crack. Slowly, water begins to soak into the cracks and through to her downstairs neighbors ceiling. (Aren't chain reactions fun?) So, Suzy's downstairs neighbors submit a repair request to the landlord asking him to look at the water stain on their ceiling. The landlord determines Suzy's leaking washer is the source of the problem, and now she is responsible not only for repairing the cracked ceiling of her downstairs neighbors, but also the repair costs needed to fix the original problem!
Now if Suzy had taken the extra time to turn a repair request into her landlord in the first place, her washer would work fine, she'd have a cabinet full of dry towels, and she wouldn't have to worry about dishing out the cost for all of the repairs which now have to be made. Poor Suzy.
So let's go back to Hypothetical Apartments and say that Suzy DID submit the request for repairs at the first sign of leaking. What if the landlord didn't make the repair before the downstairs neighbors had a crack in their ceiling? According to the Cleveland Tenant's Organization, "If a landlord does not meet the duties imposed by the Landlord Tenant law or the local housing codes or the rental agreement or if there are conditions which materially affect health and safety, then... a tenant may give the landlord a written notice to correct the condition. This notice must be in writing and delivered to the person or at the place where the tenant normally pays rent. Tenant should keep a copy of this notice.
"If the landlord fails to correct the condition within a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days, then the tenant may deposit his/her rent with the Clerk of Courts, or may apply to the Court for an order to compel the repairs, or may terminate the rental agreement."
In other words, if Suzy did her part as a tenant by notifying the landlord of the problem, the responsibility would move out of her hands and into the landlord's. So if you have even a minor problem that requires your landlord's attention, take the extra few minutes to turn in the repair request. You'll save both you and your landlord from additional stresses.
Copyright 2000 Realty Times
Posted with permission
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