Deca Realty feels strongly that tenants are entitled to have a livable home regardless of where the property is located or how much they pay in rent. A livable space means having such things as providing trash receptacles and trash pick-up, supplying hot and cold water, and keeping basic structural elements of the building safe and intact.

The comfort and beauty of our living space is key to our well-being. When we live in an environment that doesn’t have running hot water, or has a roof that leaks, it not only affects our mental health but our physical health as well. Those major problems are up to the landlord.

But there are some situations you can take care of yourself. Below are some maintenance tips for tenants.

Inside Maintenance

No Power

If you don’t have power, check to see if your neighbors do. If they’re in the dark as well, then the utility company has experienced a blackout and you’ll just have to wait it out. If it’s on your end, then check the circuit breakers. There may have been an overload and the safety switch has been activated. You’ll need to reset it.

And it sounds obvious, but check to see if the light bulb needs to be replaced if there’s no light when flipping the switch.

Watch one of our trouble-shooting videos to see if you can solve a minor problem yourself, including resetting a tripped circuit breaker.

Clogged Pipes

If water is draining too slowly in your bathroom or kitchen, it probably means there’s a clog somewhere. The best way to take care of clogged pipes is to prevent them in the first place. Avoid damaging the pipes by not using commercial drain cleaners, which contain harsh chemicals.

In the bathroom, clean hair out of the sink instead of washing it down the drain where they accumulate. In the kitchen, be careful what you pour down the drain. Don’t put items such as coffee grounds, eggs, potato peels and grease or oil down the drain.

If you need to clear a clogged drain, try pouring boiling water down it to dissolve the clog. Or remove the drain cover, pour some baking soda down the drain and follow it with the same amount of vinegar. Let it sit and fizz for a few minutes, then run the water.

No Hot Water

No one likes taking a cold shower or washing dishes with no hot water. If you discover you’re out of hot water, you’ll have to do some investigating to find out the source of the problem. First make sure your housemate hasn’t used it all during a long shower.

If you have an electric water heater, check the circuit breaker. If it’s a gas water heater, the pilot light may have gone out. While it might seem nerve-wracking to relight it yourself, it really isn’t hard. Check the owner’s manual for troubleshooting directions.

Or watch how to relight a pilot light on a gas water heater here.

Other Tips

Many problems can be prevented with good housekeeping habits. We won’t need to call pest control or the fire department if you take some preventive steps.

  • Make it a point to clean the lint trap on the dryer after each use.
  • Pull the refrigerator out from the wall and vacuum the dust away from the coils. Do the same to the dryer vent to prevent a fire from lint build-up.
  • When we set our clocks forward or back, make it a habit to check that the smoke alarm works.
  • Change the filter in the furnace at least twice a year if you have a forced-air system. It will help keep the air cleaner and the system running better.
  • Make sure you use the bathroom vent each time you shower. This helps prevent mold and mildew, which is unsightly, hard to clean and, in extreme circumstances, can lead to health problems.
  • Don’t attract ants and roaches. Dispose of garbage and clean up food spills.

If other problems arise that you can’t fix or aren’t sure what to do about, don’t hesitate to contact our maintenance department for help.

Outside Maintenance

Don’t Bring Bugs Inside

Good cleaning habits are beneficial here, too. If you have a wood-burning fireplace in the home, don’t store the woodpile too close to the house. And don’t bring in logs until you’re ready to use them.

Do a Cursory Property Check

Whenever you leave your house or apartment, take a look around. Most of these tasks you can do yourself but others may require a maintenance call.

  • Do lights need to be replaced?
  • Do you notice any doors or windows that appear to be sagging or off-kilter?
  • Is there debris or items that need to be moved out of pathways or away from the building?
  • Is there a broken lock on the apartment building?
  • Are overgrown bushes a safety and security hazard?
  • Is the garage door opener out of order? (Hint: check the battery!).

Conclusion

A well-running home is important for our physical and mental health. Taking the time to do some simple actions to prevent small problems from growing will make your living space more pleasant and will help us save money in the long run.

To submit a maintenance request, submit online at https://decarealty.com/tenants/submit-maintenance-request/.