Rental PropertyMoving into a new apartment or home is an exciting experience. Everything is new to you, and it feels like a fresh start. When you rent an apartment or house, you have confidence and trust in the fact that your appliances and other fixtures will be in perfect working order. However, even in the best of situations, things can happen that will require maintenance. While the maintenance staff at Simply Residential Property Management is happy to repair any issue, as a tenant there are things that you can do and check for when your appliances or other fixtures malfunction. Sometimes, the fix is simple and easy to handle on your own. Before you call maintenance to your home or apartment, it’s important to check things yourself first.

One of the most common maintenance issues you’ll encounter in your time as a renter is smoke detectors that aren’t working properly. For that reason, it is important to perform regular monthly tests to ensure these devices are functioning properly. If you are testing your smoke detector and it won’t work, be sure to check your battery. It way seem like a no-brainer, but try to remember the last time you though about your smoke detector battery — chances are it wasn’t within th last month. Sometimes batteries that come straight from the packaging can be defective or damaged and may not work, so make sure you check them with a battery tester and replace them when necessary. Some more common signs of battery related issues are if your smoke detector starts beeping on its own without the presence of smoke or fire, and if the beeps are weak and intermittent.

Property ManagementAnother common issue has to do with electricity and power outages. If you don’t have power to certain appliances or if the power goes out, the first thing you should do is check your breaker panel in the main fuse box. If the fuse to a certain appliance has been tripped it will be indicated by the on/off switch being in the off position or the indicator color of a certain breaker showing a red color. Reset the breakers and if you are still experiencing power failures call maintenance immediately. Trying to reset faulty breakers can increase the risk of fire. Unless you want a ‘Tim the Tool Man’ situation on your hands, it’s best to leave the electrical work to the professionals.

If you’ve ever taken an unexpected cold shower, this third common issue will be very real to you. In the case of having no hot water, you want to check the thermostat located on the hot water tank. Additionally, you want to see if the pilot light is lit in the tank and check the appropriate breaker in the fuse box. In the case of water being too hot, you want to check the thermostat and turn it down to a tolerable level. However, if you are experiencing leaks in your sinks or toilet, you need to immediately turn off the fixtures under the sinks or toilet and immediately notify maintenance.

Have you ever heard the “is your refrigerator running?” joke? Believe it or not, that hits home for many renters. Another common occurrence in apartments and homes are refrigerators that are not properly functioning. Before calling maintenance, you first want to check the thermostat and readjust it if the temperature is too high or low. You also want to routinely clean the front and back grills of the unit since dust and debris and restrict air exchange. If your freezer has excess accumulations of ice, you will need defrost for a couple of days to fully remove ice buildup.

Renting a home, for many people, is an excellent way to avoid all of the irritating maintenance issues that go along with owning your own home. But, as with anything, there are some minor things that need to be routinely cleaned and checked to ensure that things continue to run smoothly. Keep these common issues in mind, and you should be able to have an easy and low maintenance experience in your rental home!

6 thoughts on “Simply Residential Property Management’s Tips for Tenants: Performing Maintenance

  1. Great advice on what to look out for when it comes to maintenance issues on your rental property. This will be really helpful! Thanks for posting.

    • Thanks, Drew! We’re glad you liked it. If you’re interested in receiving monthly information about property management, subscribe to the digital version of our magazine at!

  2. It’s helpful for tenants to know about what they can do to take care of a home they’re renting. That seems important to make things easier for tenants, landlords, and property managers. It’s good to know that there’s something that renters can do to fix refrigerator problems. I can see why there would be many calls regarding issues with a refrigerator. Taking the time to check if the thermostat needs to be adjusted seems like a great way to get it running again if it’s a simple problem that can be fixed by the tenant. Thanks for posting this!

  3. It is interesting to note that fire extinguishers are the most common maintenance problem to deal with. We are thinking about renting out our home to college students. This is really useful information for me to gather before I go ahead and rent it.

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