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Posted November 14, 2023 by Rental Advisors

Renters 101: Your Guide to Maintenance Requests

Renting a home is a thrilling experience, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. When issues arise unexpectedly, it’s difficult to know your rights and the correct next steps to take. Maintenance requests may seem daunting, but we are here to help you advocate for yourself while maintaining a positive relationship with your property manager.

First, create an in-depth report on the issue for your personal records. Outline any concerns in the rental space with location(s), date(s) the problem(s) began and any steps that were taken to resolve the issue. Attach photos and/or videos with timestamps to the document as well. This will be beneficial in case there is a dispute.

Before you send your landlord or property manager this report, it is important to determine if it is an emergency or non-emergency. For example, an emergency would be considered a burst pipe, gas leak, sewage back-up or damaged lock on the front door. Whereas a non-emergency includes no hot water, the refrigerator has stopped working, the furnace broke during the warmer seasons, or there is a slow leak that can be contained to a bucket.

Once you have determined the severity of the situation, send this report to your property manager. Emergency requests should be sent as soon as possible while non-emergencies can wait until business hours. Make sure to include all details and use the appropriate communication channels as outlined in your rental agreement. This could be through email, phone or request form. It is not advised to use other methods such as personal channels, social media or telling them in-person.

While awaiting a response, find any temporary solutions that could help. These can include duct tape or other tools, short-term storage to protect personal belongings or finding temporary accommodations until things have been resolved.