Maintenance items that are usually charged to the tenant are: Clogged toilets and plumbing, garbage disposal issues and water damage caused by unreported leaks.
Following are best ways to avoid tenant charges:
- Tenants are responsible for plunging their own toilets. If you request maintenance for a clogged toilet and maintenance only has to plunge the toilet to unclog it, you will be charged for that work order. Do not place paper towels, excessive tissue, sanitary items or foreign objects in the toilet. Some brands of toilet paper are known to clog toilets regardless of the amount that is flushed. If you flush and the water does not drain but instead fills up the toilet bowl, do not flush the toilet again because the toilet will overflow. If your toilet does overflow, look for the turn off valve that is behind the toilet bowl on the wall. Turn the valve clockwise until the water supply is off. Mop the water off the floor immediately. Majority of the time, a clogged toilet can be cleared by plunging.
- Clean off dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Food and other debris left on dishes can cause dishwasher traps to fill up and make the dishwasher drain improperly.
- Do not allow hair, toothpaste caps, cotton balls and swabs or other items to go down onto your sink or tub drain. This can cause the drain to clog and you to be charged for the maintenance visit.
- Become familiar with your thermostat. Know the meaning of its functions and switches. On most of our thermostats, there is a heat/cool switch and an auto/on/off fan switch. Make sure that the heat/air switch is set on the appropriate function for what you want. The fan will run constantly if it is in the “on” position, and will cycle on and off if set to “auto”. When in use, always leave your fan switch set on “auto” for maximum performance from your heating and air system. You will also want to set the thermostat to the temperature that you are trying to achieve. Please note that in times of extreme heat or cold outside, your heating and air conditioning unit may not be able to get your unit to the temperature that you desire. If you think that your heat/air system is not functioning properly, call us.
- If you have an ice maker in your refrigerator, you will need to keep an eye on the “arm” located above the ice bucket. Move it up to stop making ice and down to begin the ice-making cycle again. Be careful not to hit the “arm” with other objects in your freezer as it is fragile and if it is broken, you will be charged the material and labor that it costs to replace it.
- Although a leaky roof, leaking water heater, leaking water pipe, or leaky sink may be a maintenance item that the landlord is responsible for, you may be charged a tenant charge if you do not report the problem in a timely manner. Water can cause severe damage. Keep water mopped up or dried with towels as much as possible. Please report all water problems immediately. As the occupant of the unit, you are responsible for reporting all maintenance problems. Your water bill may also be much higher than normal if you allow a water leak to continue. If you allow water from your shower to overflow onto the bathroom floor, water will find its way to the ceiling below causing water damage.
- If your heat is not working or your hot water heater does not have hot water, make sure that you have paid your gas bill if your unit requires gas service. If you are unsure if you have gas appliances, ask when you call our office. You will be billed for maintenance visits if all that is wrong is that your gas service has been turned off by the provider.