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There are several instances where you will need to get in touch with your landlord about maintenance problems. Most major issues will be addressed in your lease agreement but in general, your landlord is in charge of any structural problems to the house as well as appliances that have gone bust (that come with the rental property). If you have brought your own microwave or dishwasher and it breaks then this is your concern. If the landlord has supplied it, then you can inform him and he will need to get it fixed.

Maintenance and Leases

Make sure you have a good read through your lease about maintenance. There should clearly be outlined the things that you are responsible for, such as minor DIY home repairs, changing light bulbs for example, getting rid of the squeak in the door ways, and fixing any damage you have done to the property (those holes in the wall where you have hung up your photos perhaps...). If the maintenance problem involves the structure of the property, such as broken windows, damaged locks or a foundation or roof leak, then your landlord needs to be notified right away.

Most landlords will have on call a plumber, an electrician and a handy man to help with the rental properties. Or, your landlord may be happy to go the job himself. However, if the problem is with faulty plumbing or an electrical concern it is best if a licensed professional do the job as it can be dangerous playing with wires if you don't know exactly what you are doing. Landlords, however, should know this already and will hopefully have someone on call to help you right away.

Getting Your Landlord to Do Something About It

When you are faced with a maintenance concern you need to contact the landlord or property manager right away. They may come over and look at the issue before deciding what to do or they may just take your word for it and send someone over to have a look at the problem. In some instances, such as if the roof has sprung a major leak, you might be out of a place to live for a little while until the problem is fixed.

If you have renters insurance in place then you may be able to claim for unexpected accommodation and moving costs through loss of use coverage, if you have it. If not, then you can always bunk with a friend or fork up the cash for a hotel while the problem is being fixed. Most maintenance problems, however, will not be that drastic and should be cleared up within a few hours, such as a broken window.

The biggest problem comes when your landlord doesn't do anything about the issue. If you tell him you expect him to get on the phone right away and make arrangements for that day or tomorrow at the latest. If it's been a few days and nothing, then call him again. Keep on him until the problem is resolved. You shouldn't have to live with a broken window for a week just because your landlord is being lazy.

When contacting your landlord about maintenance needs, do it fast. If you are unsure of whether you are responsible or he is, you can always call and ask him. There is no harm is doing this and he will be grateful that you brought the issue to his attention in the first place. Always check back with the lease agreement if you are ever unsure as well.

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