Tenants are typically responsible for ensuring their property stays sanitary, clean and in good repair. A landlord is generally not responsible for making any repairs caused by the tenant’s own fault or if their guests damage anything. However, if a tenant notices an issue and fails to report it to the landlord, the tenant may be held liable for additional damage that would not have occurred had the tenant made a timely complaint.There are some simple maintenance tasks that tenants can perform to help resolve minor issues without making an appointment for service. In case of an emergency, dial 911.
American Beachside Brokers has provided the following maintenance tips and guide for tenants to troubleshoot problems:
Potential charges to Tenant
- The cost for any maintenance repairs that are deemed to have been caused by your actions or negligence.
- Missed scheduled appointment.
- Office key copy to the property does not work.
- Check you fuse box for tripped breaker switch.
- Locate the GFCI outlets (outlets with the test and reset buttons) and press the reset button on all GFCI outlets.
- Look for GFCIs in bathrooms, kitchens, garages and on the home’s exterior. Test and reset every GFCI you can find.
- Reset the breaker by moving it to the full “off” position and then back to “on.”
- Check appliances. Unplug all of them in the unit. Reset breaker, plug in one appliance at a time to find the faulty appliance.
- Contact your power company to inquire if there are power outages in your neighborhood.
- If the reset button doesn’t work, schedule a maintenance request.
AC not cooling
- If the air filter has not been changed in 30 days, change it. Remember per your lease the filter must be changed monthly.
- If the digital thermostat is not working check/change the battery.
- If you notice ice on the coils at the unit, turn off AC and submit maintenance request.
Appearance of Mold
- Refer to the EPA booklet issued when you were leased first – A Brief guide to Mold and Moisture in your Home
- If problem persist, after following suggestions submit a maintenance request
No Hot Water
- Check to see if hot water tank is leaking
- Check fuse box for tripped breaker switch
- Check pilot light on water heater, if not lit, contact Gas company first. It's free.
- If it’s a gas water heater, check to see if pilot light is out, if you can’t turn it on, call your gas provider for instructions.
If these steps do not work, please proceed with a maintenance request through your tenant portal.
Please Do Not do the following:
- Do not use liquid drain cleaner in the kitchen sink or garbage disposal.
- Do not let excess food, potato peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc. go down the garbage disposal. (They will stick to any sludge in the pipe and quickly create a clog.)
- Is the garbage disposal making a humming sound? Run your hand along the bottom of the unit for a small button. Once you find the button, press it to reset the disposal.
- Is the garbage disposal humming and not turning. Look for the disposal wrench attached to the disposal use it to turn the bottom of the disposal counter clockwise. Then press the reset button on the bottom of the disposal.
- Check for blockage in the sink around the blades. Before putting your hands or utensil down the sink, make sure the unit is turned off. ** Never put these items down the disposal: chicken bones, onion peels, potato skins, grease, and corn husk! **
- Grind lemon peels and ice to help prevent odors. You can also put in a couple of handfuls of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar. Let that set in the disposal hopper with the unit turned off. After it’s done foaming, rinse it down the drain with running water
Dishwasher won’t turn on
- Flip the wall switch near the sink
- Check to ensure that the lock is engaged
- Check timer setting to ensure it is aligned properly
Clogged or Slow Sink (without using harsh chemical drain cleaners)
- Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain, pour in ½ cup baking soda. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then pour a mixture of 1 cup white vinegar and 1 cup hot water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Flush one more time with pot of boiling water.
- For clogged bathtub and shower drains-pour boiling water down the drain to unclog hair and soap build-up.
- Use a plunger with short, quick motions. You may need rubber gloves; it can get messy!
- Pour bucket of water to clear out.
Toilet Runs Constantly
- Check for kink or disconnect of lift chain from the handle lever which is preventing the flap to seat properly.
- If unable to stop toilet run – turn off water to the toilet using the knob behind the toilet until maintenance is able to access the problem. This will prevent high water bills.
Water puddling around toilet
- Submit maintenance request through the tenant portal and call and text office immediately.
Washing Machine Not Working Properly or Not at All
- Check whether the washing machine taps are turned on at the wall.
- Check if appliance at the wall is turned on.
- Check if lid is closing properly.
- Check if settings knob is pointed directly on the desired settings
- If the machine has stopped halfway through cycle you may have overloaded the machine and caused it to be out of balance. Try redistributing the wash evenly in the drum.
- Don’t overload the machine
- ONLY use laundry detergent NEVER use dishwashing detergent
Dryer is Not Working
- Dryer can automatically shut down due to overload of lint in the filter Check whether the filter needs to be cleaned out. Remember to always clean the filter out. *Failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of dryer fires. 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and caused deaths, injuries, and millions of dollars in property loss.
Dryer Duct Cleaning:
- It is the Tenant’s responsibility to maintain a clean dryer (clean the removable lint trap)
- If the duct is clogged through to the outside of the home, please open a maintenance request through your tenant portal.
Refrigerator Not Staying Cool or Freezing
- Check the thermostat to make sure it hasn’t been turned way down by mistake.
- Be sure the vents on the back of the freezer compartment aren’t blocked by boxes of ice cream or frozen food packages-the vents have to be clear for cold air to circulate.
- Vacuum the coils under or behind the fridge. Clogged coils can cause poor cooling
- Clean the seals around the refrigerator doors to keep cool air from escaping
Smoke CO2 detector beeping or not working
- If your smoke alarm or CO2 detector is going off, please go outside and call 911 immediately!
- If your smoke alarm or CO2 detector is beeping and needs a new battery, please replace the battery, this is tenant responsibility.Do Not Remove Detector. It is required by law.
Leak In Ceiling
- Isolate when and where leak is coming from before calling for maintenance.
- If leak occurs when toilet is flushed, turn off water to toilet and call the office.
- If leak occurs when a bath is taken, use shower until maintenance can fix leak.
American Beachside Brokers wants you to remember the most important thing : your landlord is responsible for the maintenance and repairs for your home(per your lease). However these tips will help you address issues better and more efficiently for you and your landlord.
Calif. Laws Prioritizes People Over Corporate Home-buyers
- Tenants, affordable housing groups and local governments will get first crack at buying foreclosed homes under a measure approved Monday by Gov. Newsom.
- The bill is designed to keep corporations from snapping up homes and letting some fall into disrepair as they did during the Great Recession.
- · The issue drew national attention a year ago when several homeless mothers calling themselves Moms 4 Housing moved into a vacant, corporate-owned house in West Oakland.
- · It was among 15 bills Newsom signed into law as renters and home-buyers again struggle during mass layoffs prompted by the pandemic.
- · The governor said the measures “will directly lead to more affordable opportunities for renters and homeowners.”
- · The law bars sellers of foreclosed homes from bundling them at auction for sale to a single buyer.
- · In addition, it will allow tenants, families, local governments, affordable housing nonprofits and community land trusts 45 days to beat the best auction bid to buy the property.
- · Owners of poorly maintained properties can be fined as much as $2,000 a day under the bill.
- · Sen. Nancy Skinner said her measure gives people who want to live in a house a fair shot at buying it.
- · She said the measure that takes effect Jan. 1 sends the message that “We won’t tolerate another corporate takeover of housing.”
- · Newsom also signed bills increasing subsidies for dense, affordable housing projects; allowing school districts to use low-income housing tax credits to build affordable housing for teachers and school employees on district-owned land; and exempting bicycle, pedestrian, light rail and bus rapid transit projects from California's strict environmental reviews.
- · Another bill expands a law that allows crime victims to break their leases without penalty.
- · The law had applied only to victims of domestic violence, stalking, elder abuse or human trafficking.
- · The expansion adds crimes that result in injury or death; & bars landlords from refusing to rent to tenants who have taken advantage of the law.