It’s exciting to move into a new apartment, but once the initial shine has worn off, it’s time to get down to the realities of daily living in a rental. The day is going to come when you need to communicate with your property manager. It could be for a routine maintenance issue or something more serious, such as a problem that is jeopardizing the quality of living at the complex for you and possibly your neighbors. While we hope this never happens to you, here are some tips about how to effectively communicate with your apartment manager.
- Be polite and respectful. It doesn’t help the situation to lose your cool with the property manager, other office staff, or the maintenance team. Whether your interaction is verbal or written, maintain your composure and keep your emotions out of the conversation. Remember about attracting more flies with honey.
- Follow procedures. Pay your rent on time and if your property manager asks you to pay your rent online, then do so. Fewer and fewer property management companies like to deal with paper checks. The same goes for maintenance requests. Most apartment communities have online maintenance portals for this purpose. The plus side for you is that you will have a written record of your maintenance requests, should any miscommunication or disputes arise.
- Read your lease. Read your lease. Read your lease. Your lease should spell out how to pay your rent, submit maintenance requests, and state what minor repairs, etc., you are responsible for yourself. You will also find out what to do if you’re locked out, move-out procedures, how to operate any common security systems like a gate code, etc.
- Be honest. If you’re having problems paying your rent or accidentally damaged something in your apartment, inform your apartment manager and be truthful. Most property managers should be willing to work something out with you. In the long run, it’s cheaper for them to keep a good tenant, than to have to go through the whole process of renovating the apartment and looking for a replacement renter.
- Keep records. Keep a file of everything related to your residency. Along with your lease, keep copies of maintenance requests and all communication with your property manager. If they made a verbal promise, jot down a summary of the conversation along with the date and time. You should also follow up with them in writing and reiterate the conversation. You never know and it’s good to have documentation just in case.
- Be reasonable. You are not the only tenant in the complex and some property managers oversee more than one apartment community. Don’t submit emergency maintenance requests for something routine. Also, be patient. You don’t know the workload and priorities of the maintenance staff, although your apartment manager should inform you of any pending delays in resolving your issues and keep you updated.
Common sense and common courtesy will go a long way in forging an amenable relationship with your property manager. Follow the rules and document all interactions and you should have a comfortable, stress-free apartment living experience. And just in case … you will have all of the proof you need to support any claims or miscommunications.
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At Vision, our goal is to make your living experience as comfortable and seamless as possible. We have onsite property managers who can answer your questions and get to the bottom of any issues.