Smart Ways to Deal with Maintenance Issues in Your Apartment

Home and Garden

Onsite maintenance is among the primary perks of apartment living. If you experience a plumbing mishap, structural issue or a problem with a major appliance, you’re entitled to have it repaired free of charge. On the flipside, many homeowners must pay a small fortune to have similar repairs carried out. However, as any longtime apartment dweller can confirm, not all maintenance crews are equally accommodating. Of course, this isn’t to say renters need to resign themselves to unresponsive superintendents. The next time onsite maintenance ignores an issue you’re experiencing, put the following pointers into practice.

Give the Superintendent One Reminder

Although some apartment superintendents may come across as dismissive, it’s important to remember that many of them are very busy. In any given day, the average superintendent receives job requests that range from changing light bulbs to rebuilding sinks. That being the case, if he or she hasn’t responded to your specific work order, there’s a good chance they’ve simply forgotten about it or were pre-occupied with other jobs. Furthermore, supers generally tackle jobs in order of severity, so if the issue you’re experiencing doesn’t constitute an emergency, it may not be at the top of the list. So before taking serious action, give your super at least one reminder. If he or she sees that you’re insistent upon having an issue resolved, they get around to you sooner.

When perusing Omaha apartments for rent, make sure to read over each property’s maintenance policies. This will provide you with an understanding of what you can expect from each superintendent, enabling you to hold them accountable when those expectations are not met.

Reach Out to Your Landlord

If appealing to your superintendent fails to bring about the desired results, reaching out to the landlord should be your next step. When reporting your issue to the landlord, take care to specify exactly how long the issue has been bothering you, as well as how many times you’ve tried talking to the super. Since the super answers directly to the landlord, the latter’s word tends to carry a lot of weight with the former.

Withhold Rent

If speaking to the landlord doesn’t resolve the issue, withholding rent – or threatening to do so – should be your next course of action. A portion of your rent goes toward paying for onsite maintenance, and you shouldn’t be expected to pay for an amenity you’re not receiving. Before taking this step, it’s recommended that you speak with an attorney who specializes in tenant rights. Depending on the state, you may also be able to request rent credits as compensation for your inconvenience.

Having a problem ignored by your building’s superintendent is a frustrating – but all-too-common – facet of apartment living. Nearly every apartment resident can recall at least one instance in which a potentially serious issue was put on the backburner by an indifferent maintenance crew. When dealing with this level of inconsideration, it’s important to remember that you, as a tenant, have rights. If you feel that an issue you’re experiencing has been mishandled by onsite maintenance, put the tips discussed above to good use.

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