Monthly Archives: December 2010

Making Holiday and Vacation Preparations

With the Holiday break approaching (Yay!), we thought we would give you a list of things to do before you head out for your various destinations.

Remember that while this list was posted before the Christmas holidays, it is a good idea to go through this list anytime you head out for an extended period of time such as spring break, summer vacation, etc.    

General

  1. If you are going to be gone during the 1st through the 6th of the month make arrangements to pay your rent. You can pre-pay or mail a check to our office. 
  2. Many of you have noticed the abandonment clause in your lease. We expect you to be gone for the span of a week or two during the holidays, and as long as your rent is current, abandonment is not an issue.  We just need to know if you’re going to be gone for more than a month.

Safety

  1. Take all belongings such as laptops, valuable jewelry, etc.  in case of a break-in.
  2. You can set a light or two on timers to give the illusion that someone is at home.  Target or Wal-Mart have cheap ones for around 7 bucks.
  3. If you are going to be gone for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to have the post office hold your mail delivery or arrange for a friend to pick it up periodically. Don’t forget about newspaper delivery too!

Climate Control

  1. In the winter, make sure your thermostat is set to 55 degrees to ensure pipes do not burst.  Remember that if your pipes burst, they will be repaired at your cost. Be responsible and leave the heat on!
  2. In the summer, make sure you keep your thermostat at 78-80 degrees to ensure that mold and moisture do not grow while you are gone. (This actually did happen to the neighbors of some friends one summer).
  3. If you have window A/C units you can put them on timers so that you won’t have them running constantly, but only during the hottest parts of the day.

Other Things to Consider

  1. Unplug all appliances such as coffeepots and toasters to ensure that you didn’t leave them on. Just don’t unplug your refrigerator.
  2. Unplug all electronics in case of a power surge. (Also, unplugging electronics will save on vampire energy.)
  3. During the summer, the right combination of sun and rain can cause a well-manicured lawn to become a jungle quickly.  In order to prevent a tenant charge, you might want to arrange for lawn care. 
  4. I know this probably goes without saying, but please make arrangements for your pets if you are going to be gone for more than a few days.

À la prochain,                                                                                        Thanks,
Kim                                                                                                             Kate

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Turning in Maintenance Requests

One of the most common calls we receive from tenants is the maintenance request.  My hope is that this post will help you turn in a maintenance issue quickly, efficiently, and painlessly.

Maintenance Issue during Office Hours

To turn in a maintenance issue during our office hours of 8-5 Monday through Friday, you need to call our main office number at 205-345-1440.  When our office staff answers the phone, simply tell them that you would like to turn in a maintenance request then give them the following information:

  1. Your name
  2. Where you live–this means the property AND the apartment number.
  3. Then give us a detailed description that tells us the problem, the location of the issue, and any steps you might have taken to solve the issue.

Here are some examples of incorrect and correct maintenance requests:

Incorrect

“My A/C doesn’t work”

Correct

“Hi, I would like to turn in a maintenance request…This is Mickey Mouse at 314 Bryant Drive…my A/C is blowing, but the air is not cold. Thank you”

Incorrect

“My faucet is dripping.” or “My faucet won’t stop running”

Correct

“Hi, I would like to turn in a maintenance request…This is Big AL of 622 Quail Valley…the bathroom sink in the hallway has a constant drip coming from the spigot.”

Or

““Hi, I would like to turn in a maintenance request…This is Lucy Ricardo of 315-D Cedar Crest Square…the bathroom sink upstairs has a steady leak coming from the pipes underneath the sink. I have placed a bowl underneath to catch the water and would appreciate your attention to the matter as soon as possible”

Finally, we do care very much about getting your issues fixed in a timely manner, but you should know that maintenance is like medical triage. We get to the list, but if an emergency comes in that gets priority.  Issues that are considered priority are busted pipes, A/C during summer and heat during winter (esp. for our elderly tenants), defrosting refrigerators, and boarding up windows after a break-in or severe weather.

Emergency Maintenance Issue

First, you need to determine if it is in fact an emergency. Leaks that might flood the apartment, problems with heating or cooling in severe temperature extremes, defrosting refrigerators, and boarding up windows after a break-in or severe weather are considered after-hour emergencies just as they are considered priorities during office hours.  If your situation fits, call the main number 345-1440, and an answering service will send out our maintenance crew. If you are unsure if a leak fits the criteria, call the answering service, and a trained technician will make the call for you. Just know that if you misrepresent the situation, you will be charged $60.00 per hour.

Thanks,

Kate