Whether you’re new to apartment living or just moved in, apartments just like homes or condos will need maintenance over their lifetime to maintain a livable environment. At some point an apartment renter/leaser will need to contact their landlord or leasing company to get some type of maintenance work performed.
Examples include sticky doors and locks, drainage issues in the sink, shower or toilet, various apartment amenities like a broken washer & dryer, refrigerator issues and so on.
If you can remember one thing, the Golden Rule For Maintenance Requests should always be to put it in writing either by letter or email. The advantage of communicating by email is you have an electronic record of the interaction.
Trust but Verify (Landlords Are Not Exempt)
While it’s amazing to have a great relationship with your landlord or property manager, the number one rule should be to send your maintenance issues in writing. This not only provides you with a record of the issue, it also provides proof should it become necessary.
Landlords and leasing managers are people too and sometimes things can get overlooked.
By sending an electronic maintenance request (email), you will have an audit trail with dates and times and any electronic conversation that may have occurred.
It also helps the rental agency quickly reference the request and possibly prevent unwanted arguments.
Be Polite and Formal
When and if something breaks, be polite about the situation and describe the issue in as much detail as necessary. Things break and not always at the most convenient times. Don’t let your emotions about the situation sour the issue. Be cordial and formal.
If the apartment complex has an official maintenance request form (online or in office), fill them out according to the apartment policies. After filling out the form send yourself an email of the issue and include a date and time that the maintenance request was filled out.
If no official request form exists, create an email describing the issue and if possible what you expect once fixed. If you had previous conversations or contact about the issue, note dates and times.
Make sure to submit the information through the proper channels and to the appropriate person or persons.
Maintenance Issues are usually triaged based on type of issue and are usually assign degrees of urgency. Obviously if you have water coming out of your ceiling that would be a very high priority where as a squeaky door would be a low urgency maintenance issue.
Your leasing office will usually provide guidelines for maintenance requests and what to expect should one occur.
If after a reasonable amount of time the issue hasn’t been resolved, address it again with your apartment manager using proper channels. Provide any proof of previous requests and what if anything communication has been forthcoming.
Be sure to keep all maintenance related work records for future recall if necessary. It may be that you rented/leased a lemon of an apartment and you may be able to switch out to a new apartment or even terminate a lease if the apartment rental agency isn’t providing adequate maintenance.