Home > Landlord
Tenant Issues > . . .
Responsibility To Promptly Submit Repair Requests To Your
by: Dan The Roommate Man
As a tenant in a rental community, you have some
advantages over homeowners. For example, you dont
need to worry about making simple maintenance repairs.
What you DO need to worry about is submitting repair
requests in a timely fashion. If you wait too long, YOU
could be responsible for costly repairs.
Lets visit Suzy Shmoe - a resident of Hypothetical
Apartments. Suzy has a leaky washer. When her clothes hit
the spin cycle, some of the water inside ends up on the
floor. Since Suzy is a busy woman she keeps forgetting to
turn in that repair request to her landlord. So to
temporarily fix the problem, she surrounds
the washer with big fluffy beach towels which she
replaces after every load. Sure, its a makeshift
job... but by the time she gets home from school, its
always too late to get in touch with the landlord, and
shes too tired to find him early in the morning. So
the problem continues, and replacing wet towels from
around the washer becomes more of a routine than a
reminder of the leak.
What Suzy doesnt realize is that the constant
moisture on the laundry room tiles is causing them to
warp and crack. Slowly, water begins to soak into the
cracks and through to her downstairs neighbors ceiling.
(Arent chain reactions fun?) So, Suzys
downstairs neighbors submit a repair request to the
landlord asking him to look at the water stain on their
ceiling. The landlord determines Suzys leaking
washer is the source of the problem, and now she is
responsible not only for repairing the cracked ceiling of
her downstairs neighbors, but also the repair costs
needed to fix the original problem!
Now if Suzy had taken the extra time to turn a repair
request into her landlord in the first place, her washer
would work fine, shed have a cabinet full of dry
towels, and she wouldnt have to worry about dishing
out the cost for all of the repairs which now have to be
made. Poor Suzy.
So lets go back to Hypothetical Apartments and say
that Suzy DID submit the request for repairs at the first
sign of leaking. What if the landlord didnt make
the repair before the downstairs neighbors had a crack in
their ceiling? According to the Cleveland Tenants
Organization, If a landlord does not meet the
duties imposed by the Landlord Tenant law or the local
housing codes or the rental agreement or if there are
conditions which materially affect health and safety,
then... a tenant may give the landlord a written notice
to correct the condition. This notice must be in writing
and delivered to the person or at the place where the
tenant normally pays rent. Tenant should keep a copy of
If the landlord fails to correct the condition
within a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days, then the
tenant may deposit his/her rent with the Clerk of Courts,
or may apply to the Court for an order to compel the
repairs, or may terminate the rental agreement.
In other words, if Suzy did her part as a tenant by
notifying the landlord of the problem, the responsibility
would move out of her hands and into the landlords.
So if you have even a minor problem that requires your
landlords attention, take the extra few minutes to
turn in the repair request. Youll save both you and
your landlord from additional stresses.
About The Author
Since 1989 Dan The Roommate Man has helpe 1000's people
find roommates. Need help? Contact him at 800-487-8050 or