3 Crucial Tips About A Tenant's Rights And Responsibilities When Dealing With A Property Management Company

by Jayden Fisher

One problem that tenants often face is not knowing their rights when it comes to renting their property. In order to have a beneficial and professional relationship with the people who represent your landlord, it's important to have the following information.

#1-Know How To Properly Ask For Repairs

Although it's easy to assume that when you need a repair, you should simply call the property management company, doing so isn't always sufficient. Instead, check your lease and consult with the employees at the firm as to the expected protocol. Even if putting the request in writing isn't required, it could still be helpful.

It's quite common to need to ask for repairs in writing. You should verify whether that can come through email, fax or a paper form and then plan to follow up on that written communication with a phone call shortly after. Even though it may seem redundant, this gives you the opportunity to confirm that they got it and allows you an opportunity to determine a time frame for the repair. If it becomes necessary, by keeping a copy of the written request, you will be able to establish later on that you informed them of the problem on a specific date and time.

#2-Verify Your Maintenance Responsibilities

Another common mistake is assuming that any repairs or maintenance are the duty of the property management company. However, that isn't always true, since there are basic issues you are likely to be responsible for. If left undone,they could result in expensive repairs that you could similarly be liable for.

One example is changing the filter in your HVAC system or window units. A clogged filter forces the unit to work harder and eventually can damage it. Unfortunately, that means that if you don't replace or clean the filter, you could accrue significant costs to replace or repair the unit. Fortunately, your lease will probably outline your duties. The same can be true of checking and replacing batteries in your smoke detectors, since their failure could result in a fire going undetected, property damage and death.

#3-Know The Law In your Area

Obviously, the goal is to have effective communication with your property management company so that you can enjoy your home. If that doesn't happen, despite your best efforts and paying your rent on time, it's a good idea to verify the renter's laws in your area. For instance, knowing how much notice both your lease and the state require before moving will help you plan financially, as failing to give adequate notice of your intent to vacate can result in a hefty bill.

In addition, you may also find that the management company has a limited period of time after you vacate the property to return your deposit to you or inform you in writing of why they cannot do so. Finally, you are typically only allowed to withhold rent in very limited circumstances and when you do, it is best to put those funds into an escrow account. Otherwise, you could soon be dealing with an eviction, instead of just a poor relationship with the property management firm.

In conclusion, a property management company functions as the liaison between you and your landlord. Knowing your rights and applicable renter's laws is crucial; as is effective communication with the property management company. The majority of property management companies value good tenants and will therefore live up to their responsibilities. By considering the above tips, it is likely that you will be much happier with your rental situation.  

Contact a company like Vintage Corporation to learn more.