Well, a very important thing that you need to remember is that your landlord is responsible for the maintenance and fixing of the unit you just started to rent. In other words, landlord must repair or replace anything that is in bad condition or not working properly. Also, your landlord must clean and maintain the common facilities. These are areas both inside and outside the building that are not part of tenants' apartments. Areas like hallways, elevators, stairways, laundry and garbage rooms, must remain clean. Keeping the lawn cut, shoveling snow and keeping ice off the driveways and sidewalks is also the landlord’s responsibility (but check your state law first if you are renting an entire house).

Going back to inner maintenance and repairs, do not panic if your lease or rental agreement says something different about responsibility. The law is on your side and it says your landlord is responsible for the appropriate condition of the unit and common facilities. But, if you or your guests damage anything on purpose or by being careless, responsibility falls on you and you must fix it or pay for the repair.

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Still, if it happened that you broke something, before making a maintenance request, you can use this guide to try to avoid inconveniences.

Issue #1. No power

  • Check your fuse box. There may have been an overload. Check whether safety switch has been activated. Resetting may be needed.
  • Check appliances. Unplug all of them in the unit. It is required to start the safety switch in the meter box again. Connect the fridge and turn on the power point, check the safety switch. If the safety switch clicks off then you know that there is a fault with the fridge and you need to get it repaired. Otherwise unplug the fridge and connect the laptop and continue to check all appliances until the faulty appliance is found.
  • Contact your Electricity Company. There may be some troubles in the street.

Issue #2. No hot water

  • Check whether it’s time to refill your hot water system.
  • Check the fuse in the meter box.
  • Check whether your pilot light has gone out. If you can’t replace it on your own, it’s better to call a  professional.

Issue #3. Lights are not working

  • Try to replace the light bulb.
  • Check your fuse box. If there is an overload the safety switch may need resetting.

Issue #4. Garbage disposal is broken

  • Check whether it is turned on at the switch underneath the sink.
  • Reset the safety switch. A little re-d or black button underneath the bottom of the garbage disposal unit.
  • Is there a blockage in the sink/blades? Please keep in mind, before putting your hands or a utensil down the sink, check for blockages – make sure unit is turned off or unplugged.

Issue #5. Blocked sink

  • If your sink is draining the water away too slowly, try using drain cleaner to free the blockage.
  • Try to clear hairs and old soap from the waste. Try to pour boiling water down the drain, this will help to unclog blockage.
  • Try to remove old food from the kitchen waste and pour boiling water down the drain.

Issue #6. Washing machine is broken

  • Check whether the washing machine taps are turned on at the wall.
  • Check whether appliance at the wall is turned on.
  • Check whether the lid is closing properly.
  • If the machine has stopped working halfway through a cycle you may have overloaded the machine and make sure that it is  not out of balance, try to rearrange the items evenly in the bowl.

Issue #7. Dryer is not working

  • Dryers can automatically shut down due to overload of lint in the filter. Check whether the filter needs to be cleaned properly.

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