Are you moving to off-campus housing in Athens, Ohio for the first time and wondering what you’re actually responsible for? Apartment maintenance is definitely confusing, so we’re here to break it down for you!

First Things First—Read Your Lease Agreement

Your lease agreement is the ultimate source of truth. It’ll outline all of your responsibilities—including any maintenance obligations. If you haven’t already, carefully read through the document and ask your landlord questions if something is unclear. This will save you a lot of confusion and headaches down the line as you move into off-campus housing.

Landlord Responsibilities

Every lease agreement is different, so double-check your specific agreement to see what responsibilities your landlord has. Here are the most common maintenance tasks that landlords will take care of:

Structural Repairs

Landlords are responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of the building, which includes repairing any damage to walls, floors, or ceilings.

  • Cracks, holes, or leaks in walls or ceilings
  • Structural damage to the building caused by natural disasters (e.g. storms, earthquakes)
  • Damage to floors caused by pests or water leaks

Essential Services

Essential services are basic utilities that all tenants should have access to. Your landlord is responsible for ensuring these services are functioning properly:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Plumbing and hot water
  • Heating and air conditioning (if provided)

Appliance Maintenance

If your apartment comes with any major appliances, your landlord is typically responsible for repairing and maintaining them.

  • Refrigerator
  • Stove/oven
  • Dishwasher
  • Washer and dryer (if provided)

Tenant Responsibilities

As a tenant, you also have certain responsibilities once you move into off-campus housing in Athens, Ohio. Again—this might be different than what your specific lease agreement states, so be sure to double-check!

General Upkeep

While your landlord is responsible for maintaining the overall structure of the building, it’s up to you to keep your individual space clean and tidy. This includes tasks like:

  • Taking out the trash regularly
  • Cleaning spills or messes promptly
  • Keeping your personal belongings organized and out of common areas
  • Caring for front yards or backyards

Minor Repairs

Small repairs that do not affect the overall structural integrity of the building are usually the responsibility of the tenant.

  • Changing light bulbs
  • Replacing air filters in heating/cooling systems
  • Unclogging drains or toilets

Damages from Negligence or Misuse

If you damage something in the apartment, it’s your responsibility to fix it.

  • Broken windows or doors
  • Damaged walls or floors due to negligence (e.g. hanging heavy objects without proper support)
  • Any damages caused by pets (if allowed in your lease)

Reporting Maintenance Issues

Your landlord won’t know of any problems that they need to fix unless you tell them! It’s your responsibility to promptly report any maintenance issues to the landlord or property manager.

Shared Responsibilities

Some maintenance tasks may fall under both the landlord’s and tenant’s responsibilities. Here are some examples:

  • Pest Control: While the landlord is responsible for preventing and treating any pest infestations, it’s also up to you to keep your individual space clean and free of debris that may attract pests.
  • Snow Removal: Your landlord may clear sidewalks and parking lots of snow, but you might be responsible for clearing the walkway directly in front of your apartment.
  • Proper Ventilation: Report any issues with ventilation so your landlords can take steps to address them, and keep everything clean to prevent mold.
  • Reasonable Appliance Use: While the landlord is responsible for maintaining appliances, it’s up to you to use them reasonably.

How to Handle Emergencies

Emergencies happen—especially in the middle of winter. If you experience something like a burst pipe or a broken heater in your off-campus housing, follow these steps:

  1. Notify Your Landlord or Property Manager Immediately: They may have specific emergency contact information for you to use.
  2. Document the Issue: Take photos or videos of the problem and any damage it has caused.
  3. Follow Up in Writing: Follow up with an email or letter to your landlord detailing everything that happened.
  4. Find a Temporary Fix: In some cases, your landlord won’t immediately address the emergency. Be prepared to find a temporary solution to prevent further damage.

Once you move into your off-campus housing in Athens, Ohio, you should always refer to your lease agreement for specific maintenance details. Knowing your responsibilities will make the maintenance process that much smoother!

Find Reasonable Off-Campus Housing in Athens, Ohio at Wharton Rentals

At Wharton Rentals, we offer well-maintained and affordable off-campus housing options in Athens, Ohio. With our easy online application process and attentive management team, we make renting off-campus as stress-free as possible. Browse our properties today to find your new home away from home!

Wharton Rentals is committed to making the off-campus living experience a positive one for college students in Athens, Ohio.

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