Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My AC went out!

I moved into my apartment a few months ago. I have had little to no problem with the staff and only one problem with the apartment since I moved in. I came home to find a window broken from the outside. It was fixed within hours.

Saturday, the children and I came home to find our air was out. I attempted to check the filter, but it was stuck and wouldn't come out. I was leaving the apartment Sunday morning and noticed a maintenance man. I explained the problem and left. He told me he would take a look at the AC and make sure the apartment was cooling.

I have never had such a positive customer service experience before. In the past, maintenance men demanded that I file a report with the office before they would even speak to me, but this gentleman would courteous and polite. He made me feel like my issue was important to him, which as a tenant is extremely important.

What if your complex or land lord isn't meeting your needs?

  • Document all calls, emails, and other correspondence.
  • Read your lease and find out what your rights and responsibilities are. Some complexes only repair problems over a small dollar amount. Typically, it's to make sure that light bulbs and air filters are your responsibility.
  • Clearly state what your expectations are, the time frame that is acceptable to you, and their responsibilities as stated in the lease.
  • If all else fails, you may withhold your rent, but most states have a special set of requirements for that. In Florida, these are the requirements.

I have had issues in the past requiring that I follow these steps. In lieu of withholding rent, I also had great success once with calling a lawyer acquaintance and having them send a letter to my realtor on my behalf. It is in the the best interest of everyone involved if situations are solved quickly and with as little hassle as possible.