06 Jun Destin/Niceville Florida Tenants Rights
Pricey repairs, constant upkeep and maintenance are things you shouldn’t have to worry about in your Niceville Florida home. But what happens when something goes wrong — an appliance stops working, or there’s a constant dripping somewhere, and the bugs just keep coming back — generally you’d call your landlord first.
But what falls on you and what is the responsibility of your landlord? And if your landlord refuses to fix repairs, what are you supposed to do?
Here are some typical rental problems and solutions for how to get them taken care of quickly. And if these solutions don’t help, give us a call at Sound Choice and we’ll work to find you a new home that you’ll love! 850-389-8533
Mold and Water Damage
Rainy and humid climates such as Destin and Niceville are commonly susceptible to mold and water damage. Not all mold can cause health troubles, but some can bring headaches, respiratory problems, and allergy symptoms.
Is it dangerous or not? It’s really not that easy for an average renter to be able to tell. The best thing to do is to ask your landlord to address the issue.
Some cities and states put rules and guidelines in place when it comes to mold exposure limits, but when it comes to federal law, there is none. Your landlord is still required to provide safe and livable housing, even if your state does not have those rules and guidelines in place.
Additionally, make sure that they find the origin of the mold. It could be a pipe that is failing, a seal around a window that’s leaking, a drip coming from the roof. The mold will continue to come back again and again if the issue isn’t fixed.
Your job as a tenant is to make sure that you are keeping your house clean, and well-ventilated – use those exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen, and mind how much you’re running a humidifier. Help your landlord prevent mold issues and they’ll be more than willing to work with you to resolve issues that are out of your control.
Did you supply the microwave or washer and dryer when you moved in? If so, these are your responsibility and not your landlords to repair or replace.
However, any appliances that came with your rental are your landlord’s responsibility to keep in proper working condition. While you are expected to keep these items clean, your landlord is responsible for servicing and replacing run down parts.
In the Northwest Florida area there are many different species of insects, bugs, pests, and rodents. Living pest free is part of the safe and livable space that a landlord is required to provide upon moving into a home, but this often falls as a tenant responsibility during the duration of the lease.
The type of bug and the type of property (apartment, house, condo) are variables that decide whether the responsibility falls on your landlord to fix the problem or not. Bedbug infestations are a common issue, but not all states legally require landlords to handle and fix the situation. Only some states require landlords to resolve all pest issues. But if you rent a single-family home and your landlord can prove that the bug problem is a result of you not cleaning and keeping your rental clean, the issue is yours to fix.
If you have a bug problem, it’s best to let your landlord know right away. A great landlord will want to fix the issue as soon as possible to control and stop it from spreading to other units.
Helping Your Landlord
It would be incredible to get your landlord to fix every single issue without any disagreements, but that just isn’t always the outcome. Here are some suggestions to help get your landlord to tackle any problems quickly and fully:
No issue is too small – it may not seem like a big deal, but a tiny drip could lead to a horrible mold problem. A flickering light could be more than just a fault bulb. Don’t put off letting your landlord know about a small problem until it’s too late.
Get it in writing – as convenient as a phone call is, sending an email with your repair requests is smarter in the long run. Emails provide the proper documentation with date and time in case you need a paper trail down the road.
Renters insurance is a must – it’s a very small price to pay for peace of mind when it comes to your belongings being protected, especially if the damage is caused by landlord disregard.
Read and reread your lease – it’s surprising how many people don’t actually take the time to read the entirety of their lease before and after they sign. Read your lease before you sign! If you have a landlord who is declining to make any repairs, reread your lease to see what you have agreed to and what your landlord is responsible for.
Get help – if you have large repair problems and your landlord isn’t taking care of them, search the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website for a local tenants’ rights organization. This is a great place to find local and state laws that might apply to your situation and supplies extra resources for added help.
Tired of frustrating landlords? Let Sound Choice help you find a new home that you’ll love and enjoy!
Sound Choice offers full-service property management in Niceville, Destin, Crestview, Fort Walton Beach and the surrounding areas.