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Old 12-17-2007, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 10,258,397 times
Reputation: 2997

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Another post got me thinking; how about a thread where Renters make honest general requests of landlords. There's some pretty random stuff that landlords could do (but probably don't realize it) to run their business better and avoid conflicts with renters.

This is not a place to complain about slumlords. When making your post, assume that the landlord wants to exercise due diligence in giving you a comfortable place to live, that makes you:
1. Think it's worth that check you put in the mail every month.
2. Respect the property because it's owners care about your well-being.
3. Respect your neighbors because the complex (or neighborhood for houses) is a community.



.......
I'll start off with a somewhat obscure request:
INSTRUCTION MANUALS!

You know those little booklets that come with every major and minor appliance in your apartment? Those things you throw away or toss in some filing cabinet? Instead, how about photocopying them, laminating the photocopy, (making yourself a backup) and then leaving the whole thing laying on the kitchen counter for your new renters?

In my current apartment there are several major appliances and I have questions about each one:
1. Refridgerator - How do I adjust the temperature? What's the power useage?
2. Electric Range/Stove - How much weight can the burners hold? Where is the on/off switch? (found it in the back. My wife thought it was broken at first) How do I program the timer?
3. Hot water heater - What's the capacity? Where are the controls? Which valve is which? I have low flow hot water and it runs out really fast. I have to call the landlord who has to call a plumber to get this fixed. If I had a manual, I could fix it myself (or at least have it in writing that I shouldn't fiddle with the knobs--if I shouldn't). The labels on the tank are spray-painted over so I can't read them.
4. Convection heaters with little dials - How do they sense when to turn off? How much power do they use? How do I get the room to a certain temperature? Can I put furniture in front of them?

Now I've figured out about half this stuff through trial-and error. The last place I moved into had a gas stove. The first gas stove I've ever had. Pilot light was out when I moved in, but I didn't even know where/what a pilot light was. Yeah, do you really want me fiddling with that trying to figure it out?

Landlords could save themselves a whole lot of headache with good tenants and have a solid court case against bad ones if they'd just take 1 hour and eight dollars to gather up all the manuals, take them down to kinkos, photocopy and laminate everything.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
3,589 posts, read 3,416,757 times
Reputation: 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Another post got me thinking; how about a thread where Renters make honest general requests of landlords. There's some pretty random stuff that landlords could do (but probably don't realize it) to run their business better and avoid conflicts with renters.

This is not a place to complain about slumlords. When making your post, assume that the landlord wants to exercise due diligence in giving you a comfortable place to live, that makes you:
1. Think it's worth that check you put in the mail every month.
2. Respect the property because it's owners care about your well-being.
3. Respect your neighbors because the complex (or neighborhood for houses) is a community.



.......
I'll start off with a somewhat obscure request:
INSTRUCTION MANUALS!

You know those little booklets that come with every major and minor appliance in your apartment? Those things you throw away or toss in some filing cabinet? Instead, how about photocopying them, laminating the photocopy, (making yourself a backup) and then leaving the whole thing laying on the kitchen counter for your new renters?

In my current apartment there are several major appliances and I have questions about each one:
1. Refridgerator - How do I adjust the temperature? What's the power useage?
2. Electric Range/Stove - How much weight can the burners hold? Where is the on/off switch? (found it in the back. My wife thought it was broken at first) How do I program the timer?
3. Hot water heater - What's the capacity? Where are the controls? Which valve is which? I have low flow hot water and it runs out really fast. I have to call the landlord who has to call a plumber to get this fixed. If I had a manual, I could fix it myself (or at least have it in writing that I shouldn't fiddle with the knobs--if I shouldn't). The labels on the tank are spray-painted over so I can't read them.
4. Convection heaters with little dials - How do they sense when to turn off? How much power do they use? How do I get the room to a certain temperature? Can I put furniture in front of them?

Now I've figured out about half this stuff through trial-and error. The last place I moved into had a gas stove. The first gas stove I've ever had. Pilot light was out when I moved in, but I didn't even know where/what a pilot light was. Yeah, do you really want me fiddling with that trying to figure it out?

Landlords could save themselves a whole lot of headache with good tenants and have a solid court case against bad ones if they'd just take 1 hour and eight dollars to gather up all the manuals, take them down to kinkos, photocopy and laminate everything.
AMEN to that. I've had to figure out how to use the timers and whatnot on the microwave and the oven through trial and error. I don't have instruction manuals for anything at all.
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Sand Springs, OK
634 posts, read 2,383,976 times
Reputation: 237
what an excellent idea

also, a list of who your utilities are and what schools are affiliated with that property would be helpful. Some landlords do this, but not all.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:15 AM
 
3,031 posts, read 8,514,676 times
Reputation: 840
Where's the circuit breaker box? You'd be surprised that's it's not always in the most logical location. And in every house we ever owned, we labeled each breaker. In this rental that we're in, we have no idea what goes to what. We did our own labeling by switching each breaker on and off 'til we figured out exactly what it was connected to!
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Old 12-18-2007, 01:46 PM
 
27,278 posts, read 55,837,739 times
Reputation: 21610
I've made a one page list and do a walk through at move in and then post it in a plastic jacket inside one of the upper kitchen cabinet doors.

At the top of the list is my contact info, utility company emergency numbers, grade and high school addresses with contact numbers.

Next on the list are the locations of the Gas Shut-Off, Electric Breaker Panel, Water Shut-Off, Furnace Controls and Water Heater Setting and the Monitored Alarm Panel.

Next I have helpful tips for Toilets, Sinks and Water Leaks.

Most residents are very interested in this info and find it to be very helpful... On occasion, I've been told that they are not interested and they will just call me with problems.

As we walk the property, with the list in hand, I welcome any questions.

I also point out that the water heater is set at 120 F and take a thermometer to verify. I emphasize 120 is the maximum "Safe" limit with children and to use caution if setting the heater higher.

Toilets... I mention that toilet bowls are designed to hold ONE flush of water without overflow should the line have a stoppage and a second flush with water in the bowl will cause a flood. I also emphasize nothing but toilet tissue is to be flushed... no baby wipes, toilet cleaner pads and especially hygiene products.

Sinks... I always point out that each sink has a strainer and using the strainer is the best insurance agains clogged drains and too never pour grease down a drain!

I think providing this information is the way to go and as the original poster mentioned, can minimize problems.

My units no longer come with appliances for new tennents, unless they are the built in type and my rents are below market to reflect this. I turn on all the burners and oven for the built-in units to verify that they all work and lastly point out the new range hood filter(s)

Ten years ago, I reviewed several years of service calls and found 60% were appliance related. It is a relief not having to leave a family Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner because of an appliance issue. Most of the stoves are gas and just about every problem was caused by dirty burners from something getting spilled.
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Sand Springs, OK
634 posts, read 2,383,976 times
Reputation: 237
wow, you really cover a lot. What a blessing to have a landlord such as you. Keep it up, we tenants appreciate it
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Midtown
177 posts, read 872,786 times
Reputation: 103
Instructions about how to turn on utilities and such are nice...as well as a list of people to contact about certain maintenance issues. The last complex I lived in had a website with that info and it was very helpful.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:38 PM
 
11,181 posts, read 10,272,820 times
Reputation: 17201
Great Thread! And I couldn't agree more about instruction manuals. and also where the main valve is to turn off the water in the unit. These things should be covered during the walk-thru, if we're lucky enough to get even that.

I also want a landlord to be truthful! My apt complex's brochure stated that the units are 'energy efficient'....??? Oh puhlezze! This is KS and there is basically no insulation at all! Dummy here moved in during the beginning of summer and it was not a problem. But come winter! YIKES When winter hit, I had ice on the inside of the slider door!! What a joke!

I expect the unit to be clean when I move in...they sure insist that we clean it when we move out!

I also expect them to NOT raise the rent "just because" the complex down the street raised their rents!

And I also expect maintenance to show up in a very reasonable amount of time.

Most landlords (not all thankfully) only want the monthly rent check...to heck with what we tenants may want.
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Earth
1,480 posts, read 4,637,081 times
Reputation: 1431
If I make a maintenance request, I want to know what is being done. Too often, landlords work to resolve issues without informing their tenant of the efforts. Tenants then assume they are being brushed off. Write an email, pick up a phone, drop by, let me know some ball is rolling if it's going to be a process.
Don't assume I'm a dirt-bag. I don't care how many dirt-bags a landlord has dealt with, I'm not one. But if you treat me like an a**hole I can be an a**hole.
Follow up. It cost more to turn a place around, market, and loose rent to vacancy than it does to keep a tenant satisfied. Try a little customer service. Tenants are customers and your business depends on us.
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:51 PM
 
702 posts, read 2,300,371 times
Reputation: 554
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Another post got me thinking; how about a thread where Renters make honest general requests of landlords. There's some pretty random stuff that landlords could do (but probably don't realize it) to run their business better and avoid conflicts with renters.

This is not a place to complain about slumlords. When making your post, assume that the landlord wants to exercise due diligence in giving you a comfortable place to live, that makes you:
1. Think it's worth that check you put in the mail every month.
2. Respect the property because it's owners care about your well-being.
3. Respect your neighbors because the complex (or neighborhood for houses) is a community.



.......
I'll start off with a somewhat obscure request:
INSTRUCTION MANUALS!

You know those little booklets that come with every major and minor appliance in your apartment? Those things you throw away or toss in some filing cabinet? Instead, how about photocopying them, laminating the photocopy, (making yourself a backup) and then leaving the whole thing laying on the kitchen counter for your new renters?

In my current apartment there are several major appliances and I have questions about each one:
1. Refridgerator - How do I adjust the temperature? What's the power useage?
2. Electric Range/Stove - How much weight can the burners hold? Where is the on/off switch? (found it in the back. My wife thought it was broken at first) How do I program the timer?
3. Hot water heater - What's the capacity? Where are the controls? Which valve is which? I have low flow hot water and it runs out really fast. I have to call the landlord who has to call a plumber to get this fixed. If I had a manual, I could fix it myself (or at least have it in writing that I shouldn't fiddle with the knobs--if I shouldn't). The labels on the tank are spray-painted over so I can't read them.
4. Convection heaters with little dials - How do they sense when to turn off? How much power do they use? How do I get the room to a certain temperature? Can I put furniture in front of them?

Now I've figured out about half this stuff through trial-and error. The last place I moved into had a gas stove. The first gas stove I've ever had. Pilot light was out when I moved in, but I didn't even know where/what a pilot light was. Yeah, do you really want me fiddling with that trying to figure it out?

Landlords could save themselves a whole lot of headache with good tenants and have a solid court case against bad ones if they'd just take 1 hour and eight dollars to gather up all the manuals, take them down to kinkos, photocopy and laminate everything.
I'll be honest, if you don't know how to adjust the temperature in the frig, you got bigger problems!!
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