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Dealing with Repairs in an Apartment

Posted by Friendly Design on August 20, 2014

woman with drill and plywood

            Dealing with repairs in a rental apartment is not always easy. During Ann Arbor apartment search the first thing college students should do before forking over any money is read the lease or contract. This document is extremely important and legally binding. It should explain how repairs of the apartment are addressed. Ensure that damage not inflicted by the tenant is repaired by the landlord/lady. Review the process of repair, if the damage is inflicted by the tenant. Most owners ask for some sort of deposit which generally covers some damages. Make sure to understand exactly what the deposit covers.

Reasonable Wear and Tear

            Before handing over money to a landlord/lady thoroughly inspect the apartment. If any damages are found, ask who will repair them as well as whom. Make sure that this is added as an amendment to the lease prior to moving in. Take pictures of the apartment before moving any possessions into it. Discuss with the landlord/lady what he/she considers normal wear and tear.

            There are certain items in an apartment that must be repaired or replaced over time. This is simply because of use and time. Seals in plumbing often need replacing and sometimes plumbing leaks. These things are usually covered by the owner and he/she simply needs prompt notification. If there has been damage by the tenant due to activity such as a rowdy party, the owner is not responsible for the cost. The tenant must pay for this type of damage and it is best to inform the owner as soon as something like this happens. Most landlords/ladies are reasonable as long as tenants are honest and do not make a habit of destroying their property.

Not at Fault

            It is very sad, but there are owners who do not uphold their responsibilities. This is why it is important to inspect the place and take pictures as proof of the condition it was in when the tenant moved in. If there was damage in the beginning, the tenant has proof, and an amendment concerning the repairs was added to the lease the tenant should have nothing to worry about. It may be a good idea to politely remind the owner, if repairs are needed. If it seems that the owner will not address the issue, seek the council of an authority figure. There is nothing wrong with starting by asking parents. If this is not an option or the damage is a hazard, it may be necessary to talk to someone in the legal field.

Work Smart

            Money is generally an issue for all individuals, especially college students starting out. It can be prudent to ask owners bout DIY projects around the apartment. For example, if the owner promises a fresh coat of paint, inquire if this may be taken off of the deposit or rent as a DIY project. Many times owners are happy to oblige, provide supplies, and a little time may pay for most or all of the cost of moving in. Be sure to get any dealing with repairs in a rental apartment like this in writing as well as signed by the owner. Most individuals are honest; however, not all are and this measure protects both parties.


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