Please take your role as a tenant seriously. Here are a few things that can make this task easier:
One mistake students make is withholding rent until a landlord makes requested repairs. Unless you have set up an escrow account, you are legally obligated to pay your landlord according to your lease. Also, unless you’ve signed separate leases, all tenants count as one, meaning even if you’ve paid your portion of the rent, you’re still responsible if another roommate hasn’t.
Regular maintenance and cleaning can prevent common issues such as insect/bug infestation. Routine cleaning also makes it easier for you to spot a problem, should one arise.
Let your landlord know of any appliance malfunctions, reoccurring insect/rodent problems, etc. when you discover it. The sooner you let them know, the sooner the problems can be remedied.
The key to a positive living experience is effective communication between you and your landlord. Be very clear about your expectations of them, and be sure you are clear of theirs for you. Also, make sure you get all communication in writing, especially concerning repairs.
Like tenants, landlords have an important role in making the rental experience positive; the following are basic expectations that landlords should meet:
Landlords are required to provide a tenant with a safe, sanitary, and well-maintained apartment in compliance with local and state laws. Some units are required to have a warranty of habitability, which guarantees essential services such as heat, light, electricity, and hot and cold running water (except where tenant’s failure to pay utilities causes a loss of service).
Landlords must respond within a “reasonable time” to any problems once they are notified. However, the definition of reasonable time depends on the circumstances of each case. If the landlord does not respond, tenant(s) who live in La Mirada can notify the City of La Mirada (562) 943-0131, which can send an inspector to determine whether the problem violates housing code. If you are not a resident of La Mirada, check your local city website for contact information in regards to Community Development Municipal Code Enforcement.
Landlords have a responsibility to provide accurate information to their tenant(s). This can be achieved by having a written lease that includes specific provisions for rental term, repair policies and other restrictions. Also, landlords should also inform tenants of anything that could affect their rental, such as remodeling, sale of the unit, etc. Finally, landlords should always notify tenants at least 24 hours in advance of their intent to enter the rental unit, whether for inspection, repair, or otherwise.