If you’ve ever lived in a house, you know firsthand that arranging for repairs is anything but fun and cheap. You must coordinate a variety of vendors from HVAC to plumbing to a roofer and more. Fortunately, one of the advantages of living in an apartment is that most of this maintenance is outsourced to the apartment management company.
Just like everything in life, not all maintenance crews are created equal.
Many prospective renters fail to consider the quality and responsiveness of maintenance at a good apartment building.
Before renting, you should ask and consider the answers to these questions.
1. Does the apartment maintenance team wear uniforms?
While it may sound insignificant, this is a sign that the apartment maintenance team is a company and will be more professional when it comes to responding and managing repair and maintenance requests. This is also a safety consideration. One should never open the door for unknown individuals. Knowing that the individual at your door is wearing a recognizable company uniform can be very comforting.
2. Is there a dedicated in-house maintenance team?
You will want to know if there is a dedicated in-house maintenance team for general maintenance problems, or if maintenance is provided by outside service contractors. You may need to wait considerably more time for a specific contractor to make a repair, and it may take that contractor multiple trips to solve a problem as they will almost certainly need to order parts to resolve a service complaint. Most in house maintenance teams keep a stock of most commonly used parts unique to the buildings.
3. Is there a dedicated local phone number?
Check whether the maintenance team has a dedicated phone number to call for service versus a general 1-800 number. The use of an 1-800 number almost always suggests the management company relies on outsourced maintenance. An in-house maintenance team will likely be able to respond to requests more quickly.
4. Is the maintenance team quick to fix issues?
Does the maintenance team have a track record for fixing issues quickly? Be sure to ask how long it typically takes to respond and manage maintenance requests.
5. Is the team proactive at addressing issues before they occur?
Some teams undertake regular maintenance tasks to address and prevent issues from becoming huge problems. Find out if the team is proactive to ensure a well-maintained building. You can see this and also can usually tell by looking around at the apartment community.
6. Does the team handle routine maintenance behind the scenes?
Some maintenance teams do a few things behind the scenes that keep the apartment complex in good condition for an extended period. This may involve tasks like changing filters, checking condensate air conditioning lines, trimming large trees, checking emergency lighting and testing fire alarm systems.
7. Does the team communicate clearly?
One of the most important questions to ask is whether or not the community’s maintenance team has a reputation of being good at communicating what has to be done, what was done, and whether or not follow up is required. For example, if there is a major repair being undertaken in the apartment complex that requires access to your apartment, you need to know so you can properly prepare in advance. The maintenance team should not have to enter your apartment without ample notice unless there is a real emergency.
8. Does the team resolve issues quickly?
How quick is the team to respond and resolve issues? Do they respond right away or take a few days to get to your request? Ideally you want your apartment complex to have a maintenance team that manages and resolves requests as quickly as possible to minimize any inconvenience for you.
9. Is there an emergency contact?
Apartment complex emergencies (such as no heat in the winter or no air in the summer) can and do occur around the clock. This is why you would want the maintenance team to be available 24/7 in case of an emergency.
10. Is the team friendly and professional?
When you contact the maintenance team, you want them to be friendly and professional.
An apartment complex will have issues coming up every once in a while. A good maintenance team will handle these issues quickly and professionally to reduce any inconvenience to residents.