Maintenance. Repairs. To-do lists. These are all your landlord’s, or the property manager’s, responsibility. In your lease agreement, you will find a section dedicated to explaining this. In addition, there will be contact information of who to get a hold of in the event that you need to let them know of a repair.
Funny thing about repairs though, they never seem to happen at a convenient time. The toilet doesn’t back up 9 to 5 on weekdays. The door hinge will fail when you have a house party. The oven stops working on Thanksgiving.
What may seem like a minor repair can quickly turn into a major source of anxiety. Especially if you are waiting for a response from the landlord or their agent. Is there a way you can reduce your stress, making your life a little easier without having to turn up your sleeves and do the work of your landlord? Certainly. There are a few easy repairs or maintenance items that are well within the capabilities of an average tenant. Here are a few repairs that a tenant can do.
Repair #1 Own a Plunger
Toilet backups are usually less a problem with the toilet or the sewer system and more often a problem with what needs to get flushed. Rather than quickly calling the landlord and then hoping they arrive quickly, why not attempt to fix the problem. First, if the apartment or house did not come with a plunger, pick one up. Everyone knows how to use them, and they should be standard issue for all bathrooms. If that doesn’t work, try using a coat hanger to break things up a bit and make it easier to go down. If that doesn’t work, put on the kettle and pour boiling water into the center of the toilet, wait 30 seconds and then flush. That should get your life back on the move. Pardon the pun.
Repair #2 Got Cooking Oil?
There are few things more annoying than a squeaky hinge. Oh, life goes on. The door still works. But that noise is enough to drive you batty. Guess what? If you put some regular cooking oil on a Q-tip and rub it on the hinge while moving the door back and forth, the squeak will usually disappear. For really stubborn hinges, multiple treatments maybe necessary. Of course, if you have a can of WD-40 that will work even better.
These are just a few easy maintenance items that you as a tenant could do to quickly get life back to normal. Stop back next week to check out three more easy repairs and how to do them. It is great when tenants and landlords can work together. And don’t worry, there are repairs that a tenant can do.