Maintaining your Apartment
You are responsible for the general upkeep of your apartment. We believe the best maintenance program catches small problems before they become big ones. Of course, sometimes you may not report a problem because you aren’t aware of it. For this reason, our maintenance staff will visit your apartment at least once a year to complete a general preventive maintenance survey. We will be sure to notify you prior to this inspection.
We encourage you to make your home as comfortable and pleasant as you wish. However, you must receive written permission from our office staff before you add to or alter your apartment in any way. This includes reasonable accommodation improvements approved by Management but undertaken by the Resident. Residents are not permitted to use wallpaper, contact paper, paneling, or oil-based or dark colored paint. Please use only nails to hang pictures or other decoration on the walls: stick-on adhesive hangers cause permanent damage. Before moving, you will be responsible for paying whatever it costs to return your apartment to its original condition.
Management will repaint the apartments every 5 years as part of the preventive maintenance plan. If you wish to have your apartment painted prior to your 5th year of occupancy, please contact the office for policy details.
Your safety and comfort are our prime considerations. Routine maintenance and repairs due to normal wear and tear may be needed occasionally in your apartment. You will not be charged an additional fee for routine service because the cost is included in your rent. Our maintenance staff will be happy to correct any problem in your apartment, so please do not hesitate to request service.
To request routine maintenance or repair service, always phone or visit the office. Our office staff will be happy to complete a maintenance request form for you. Your request will always be logged in writing to ensure prompt attention to your problem. Please do not stop maintenance staff members with service requests. This not only causes delays, but also can result in your request being overlooked. Our maintenance people act only on work assigned o them by the office. Therefore, it is to your advantage to contact our office staff for maintenance assistance.
Never attempt to make major repairs yourself. You will be held responsible for damage resulting from such attempts. If your contact an outside service agency directly, you will be personally liable for all charges incurred. Also, please remember you are responsible for labor and material costs for repairs needed as a result of your neglect. One word of caution: keep your appliances free of dirt and grease. If your appliance requires cleaning prior to being repaired, you will be requested to do so. If you fail to clean the appliance when requested, you will be charged to have it cleaned.
Certain maintenance services are not management’s responsibility. For example, you are responsible for replacing light bulbs and installing curtain rods in your home. When replacing bulbs in permanent light fixtures, please use bulbs with 60 watts or less. Most modern fixtures are not designed to accommodate higher strength bulbs safely. If you use high strength bulbs and damage the fixtures in your apartment, you will be responsible for paying to have the fixtures replaces. High wattage bulbs should only be used in your own reading lamps.
Fluorescent tubes and specialty bulbs are replaced free of charge during your first year of residency. After one year, a normal charge is assessed.
You may request pest control service at no additional charge. The exterminator visits our community regularly. All you need to do is call the office staff and ask to have your apartment treated on the next regular visit. You will need to prepare your apartment for service by following specific instructions.
Please report pest problems promptly. We want to catch small problems before they become big ones. Occasionally, the property manager may decide to have several apartments treated at the same time as a preventive measure. Should this happen, you will be notified in advance and expect to cooperate in preparing your apartment for pest control service.
An emergency is any situation which jeopardizes your health, safety or property. Fire, flood, plumbing backups, and the lack of heat or electricity in your home are emergencies that require immediate attention. You will not be charged for assistance after business hours as long as an actual emergency exists. If your experience an actual emergency, follow these simple steps:
- Report the emergency immediate, anytime, day or night, by calling the office or emergency number as well as the local fire and/or police department, if needed. People are standing by 24 hours a day to help you.
- When you call after business hours and on weekends, our emergency answering service will contact the staff member who is on call. Because employees handle emergencies on a rotating basis, you should not seek assistance by contacting a staff member directly.
- When you report an emergency, clearly state the problem, your name, telephone number, apartment number and/or building number and address. This information will tell our staff how to reach you and what equipment to bring.
We believe that the best maintenance programs catch small problems before they become big ones. Although you are responsible for reporting maintenance needs in your apartment, sometimes you may not report a problem because you are not aware of it. For this reason, our maintenance and management staff will visit your apartment at least once a year to complete a general preventive maintenance survey. We will be sure to notify you prior to this inspection.
Resident may take the opportunity at the time of a preventive maintenance inspection to request a reasonable accommodation to the apartment.
Learn the location of the circuit breakers in your apartment. These are the safety valves in your electrical system. When you suddenly lose power, first check to see if neighboring apartments have electricity. A blackout in all apartments should be reported to the power company. If only your apartment seems to be affected, try to find the cause of the power failure. Some typical causes are:
- Plugging in too many appliances at once,
- Creating a short circuit by using a defective appliance or worn appliance cord or
- Adding an iron, electric broiler, or other “power hungry” appliance to an overloaded circuit.
A power failure often signals a tripped circuit breaker. Try to locate the cause of a power failure- and correct it- before you return the circuit breaker to the ON position. If you have a circuit breaker box in your home and need to restore power, push all switches to the OFF position, wait a few moments, and switch them back to the ON position. If you cannot restore power by tripping the circuit breakers or unplugging possible defective appliances, please call the office staff for maintenance assistance.
- Clean your sink and tub drains on a regular basis.
- Unclog hair from drains once a week or as needed.
- Do not keep toothbrushes, cosmetics, bottle tops and similar items near your toilet.
- Do not flush grease, garbage, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, paper towels, cardboard paper rolls or any other type of synthetic material through your plumbing system.
Please follow the simple steps listed above to keep the plumbing in your home in good working order. However, if you do experience minor blockage problems, unclog your toilet or sink with a plunger. If you cannot free the blockage, immediately call the office staff for maintenance service. Residents who create blockage problems through negligence will be responsible for paying repair costs.
Sometimes blockages will make your toilet or sink overflow. To solve the immediate problem, turn off the water. (The shut-off valve for your toilet is located underneath the tank; the bathroom sink valve is under the fixture.) Then, call the office staff for maintenance assistance.
Always call our office staff and report and loose fixtures or cracks round your sink, toilet, or bathtub. Our maintenance staff will be happy to correct the problem before it becomes serious.
Residents are required to use a plastic shower curtain or a fabric shower curtain with separate plastic liner to prevent water from accumulating on the bathroom floor and possibly leaking down into the apartment below.
Your kitchen disposal, range and refrigerator are probably the most important conveniences in your apartment. Their purpose is to make your life easier. However, if you do not take care of them, your disposal, range and refrigerator will not do their jobs. All you need to do to maintain your kitchen and appliances is observe the following guidelines.
Clean Your Appliances
To preserve the finish of any appliance, avoid the use of gritty soaps, abrasive cleaners or sharp instruments such as knives and razors. For quick wipe ups, use a damp, sudsy cloth. Then, about once a week or as needed, give your refrigerator and range a more extensive cleaning. Baking soda diluted in water is an excellent inexpensive cleaner.
Grease will collect in hidden parts of your range. When you of your weekly cleaning, be sure to lift up the top of your range and remove crumbs and grease. Vent hood filters should be immersed in hot sudsy water for thorough cleaning.
Cleaning Your Cabinets and Countertops
Although your kitchen cabinets and countertops are durable, you will damage them if you are careless. Always use a cutting board and avoid setting hot utensils or pans on the counter surface. To remove fingerprints and smudges from your cabinets, use a simple mixture of half ammonia and half water. Spray or sponge the mixture onto the cabinet surface and wipe dry with a clean cloth. If you prefer a shiny finish, you may apply lemon oil or spray polish. Old layers of polish will eventually dull the finish of your cabinets and countertops. For this reason, we suggest you periodically remove polish buildup on these surfaces.
Defrosting Your Refrigerator
- Turn the temperature control indicator to the OFF position.
- Remove all ice cubes trays and food.
- Wrap all perishable items in towels to keep them cold.
- Place a bowl or pan of boiling water in the freezer
- Close the refrigerator door.
- Relax for 15 minutes while the steam from the boiling water loosens the frost and ice. Never use sharp instruments to pry off ice, as you are responsible for punctured coils and other permanent damage.
- Repeat this process until you can easily remove all the accumulated ice.
- Wipe your freezer dry with a cloth.
- Turn the temperature control indicator to the ON position.
If your refrigerator is self-defrosting, you should not experience an ice build-up. If icing occurs, please contact the office for a maintenance request. Please do not use sharp objects on or near your freezer unit as this could result in permanent damage.
The Care and Feeding of your Kitchen Disposal
To Prevent Problems
- Always keep hands, utensils and foreign objects away from your kitchen disposal when it is operating. If something does become jammed in the mechanism, turn off the unit immediately. Although your disposal shuts off automatically, flip off the wall switch as a safeguard.
- About once a week, empty a tray of ice cubes into your disposal and grind them thoroughly. This helps clean the unit of waste particles and sharpens the disposal blades.
- Use your unit to dispose of organic material which is not stringy or hard. Celery and corn husks, for example, are not food for your disposal.
- Do not pour grease into your kitchen disposal. It can harden and cause sever problems. Place grease in an empty jar, can or bottle, replace the lid and put it in a trash bag.
- When peeling lots of vegetables, feed small amounts of garbage into your disposal and then run the unit every few minutes. Overloading your disposal will only cause it to jam.
To Run Your Kitchen Disposal
- Turn on the cold water ad run a steady steam into the drain.
- Turn on your kitchen disposal.
- After you have switched off your disposal, continue to run the water for a few seconds to prevent odors and residue.
If Your Disposal Stops Running
- Open the kitchen cabinet under the sink.
- Look on the lower section of the disposal unit for the reset button. It will be either on the side or bottom of the unit.
- Press the reset button. Do not continue to press this button if disposal keeps shutting off. Instead, if your have a circuit breaker with switches, push all switches to the OFF position. Wait a few minutes. Turn the switches on again.
If the disposal still doesn’t operate, call the office staff and request a maintenance service.