Tenants – your landlords and property managers are not mind readers! All too often we only hear about a maintenance issue after a tenant has reached their breaking point.
It may be frustrating to have to deal with a repair that has gone uncompleted for some time, but it is just as frustrating for your property manager to receive a letter or phone call complaining about certain conditions in the apartment that he or she has had not been previously made aware of. We hear this most often when a tenant is notifying us of their desire to move out/break their lease or as a defense for their rent being late. Keeping your landlord informed about issues that may come up in your apartment goes beyond just having maintenance problems resolved quickly – It is critical to your own overall level of satisfaction with the apartment.
You may also think that withholding rent is the best way to get the attention of your landlord – it’s not! Believe it or not, your property manager wants to take care of you and any issues that arise. Keep them informed so that repairs can be made and you can enjoy the apartment fully during your tenancy.
Lastly, calling the Board of Health prior to informing your landlord of any issue is not a viable solution. The purpose of the Board of Health is to enforce the laws and health codes for each city and state – they are not meant to receive repair requests or complaints, specifically if you have not previously made these complaints to the landlord or property manager.
Landlords – make it a point to check in with your tenants on a routine basis. Quarterly or bi-annual inspections of the property and all units are a great way to keep you aware of the status of any repairs that may be needed. (It’s also a great time to check on your utility consumption and take preventative measures to cut down expenses!)
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. The contents of this blog should not be taken as legal advice. Always consult with an attorney.