What do I do when my apartment needs maintenance?

One of the great things about living in an apartment near USF is that you don't have to do maintenance for your home – your complex will take care of these issues! Each USF apartment handles maintenance issues a bit differently, but there are some basic guidelines on how maintenance is handled. If this is your first apartment, you may want to ask your landlord to explain their maintenance procedures, but they generally go over them when you sign your lease.

If your maintenance issue is an emergency, there is usually a number you can call 24/7. Emergencies generally include water leaks (bigger leaks, a tiny drip may have to wait for a day), gas leaks, some electrical issues, sewer issues, and in extreme weather, lack of heat or air conditioning. Sometimes, these issues will have to wait if you call in the middle of the night, but there are some things, like water gushing in your house, that will be taken care of immediately. If there is a fire or a break in, do call 911, not your emergency maintenance. If your power goes out, you should probably call the power company, especially if the power is out in multiple homes and buildings.

There are many maintenance issues that are not emergencies (though often, they feel like an emergency at the time). Usually, you submit a maintenance request to through a website, by phone, or in writing at your community office. These requests range from stopped up garbage disposals to fixing an oven to spraying for pests. Most repairs and maintenance are really not emergencies. Many USF apartments offer some kind of guarantee, such as fixing a problem within 24 hours of it being reported.

Some places have the tenant be responsible for some repairs that other places will do for you. This is where you must read your lease. You may be responsible for replacing light bulbs or air filters, or your landlord may be willing to do this for you. Some places will charge to fix problems that you have caused, such as breaking a window or clogging a drain, while others do not. You want to know if you will be charged before you make a request, not after – so read your lease!

You will also want to know procedures for maintenance when you are not at home. You may need to give maintenance permission to enter your home if you are not there. You may also want to request that they come when you are home. Usually, you should make these requests at the time that you make your maintenance request.

As you live in your apartment near USF, you hopefully will not need to contact maintenance very often, but it is helpful to know in advance how you should handle these situations. Most places that you can live out will handle the more stressful maintenance issues, allowing you to focus on your life, your studies, and your work.

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