During your lease term, you will probably need to request a repair at least once if not twice.
Usually, most landlords or maintenance staff are willing to help you resolve the issues expeditiously, especially if they know you keep record of the apartment condition.
Regardless if you are on good terms with them or not, it is always best that you know how to request a repair formally.
Here are few tips on how to properly do so:
- Define the repair issue: if it is something that is broken, like a doorknob, or its regular wear-and-tear, you can proceed with filing a request for a repair.
However, if it is an emergency, like a broken pipe that is flooding your apartment, then you need to immediately find the “emergency maintenance” number on your lease and call it right away.
- Find out who is responsible for repairs: find out whether your apartment community has an appointed maintenance staff, or if your landlord is responsible for the repairs.
Moreover, you also need to know whether your apartment community has an automated systems where maintenance requests can be filled and submitted online, or if these need to be made in person, at the office of the maintenance staff/landlord.
- Keep it professional and polite, and be patient: Regardless of the situation, you always need to be polite and professional in your communication and give some reasonable time for them to resolve the issue.
Usually, there are laws for the major repairs (like issues with heat, water) that clearly state in how many days your landlord must respond to your request.
Look up your state laws for these cases.
Otherwise, give your maintenance staff/landlord a couple of days to respond.
Always keep the professional, polite tone in your communication (especially in written) because in cases where your requests go unanswered, you will need to use these documents as proof that you followed the procedure reasonably and with courtesy.
- Write the request in corresponding format and always keep written proof/copy of the requests: If your community has an automated systems where maintenance requests can be filled and submitted online, make sure you insert all the information that is requested in details, correctly.
Make sure you get a printed copy of your submission, a reference number and if it has auto-response, save that as well.
If it doesn’t have those, then make sure you write a repair letter which in detail explains the issue and personally deliver it to their office.
Additionally, when you deliver it, request a signed photocopy as proof of submission for your files.
- How to write the repair request: There is a pattern on how the request should look like, so follow it strictly, and try to be formal, clear, specific, polite and accurate.
Here is a sample of the repair request letter:
Sample of a letter for requesting repair:
Your Full Name
Current Address of Your Apartment, unit ###
City, State, Zip Code
Landlord or Apartment Company’s Name
Address as Printed on Your Lease
City, State, Zip Code
Re: Maintenance request
Dear (Name of landlord or maintenance staff),
I am writing to request repairs to the (list the issue, or broken appliance – be clear and specific! – For example: my doorknob) due to (reason for repair, what is wrong with it, what’s broken, what doesn’t work, even if it is the normal wear-and-tear. In our example: broken handle: the handle broke in two pieces)
Continue with describing the issue in detail,(Such as the door handle is broken, and I can’t open/close the door.) State the reason – even if obvious – why the repair or replacement is needed.
I have already (list whether you have left a message on voicemail or spoke with someone in the office) and am following up with this formal communication.
I would greatly appreciate it if you could arrange for (name the repairs/ replacement, for example: fix or replace the doorknob) as soon as possible.
Please contact me at (your phone/email) if you have any questions or need to make arrangements and let me know when the work will be completed.
Thank you in advance for your time and response.