Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › How to Deal With Damages to Your Apartment

Damages or minor repairs come with living in a rental apartment. But one of the major perks of being a renter is that you’re not (usually) responsible financially for making repairs. But there are certain items that most renters should take care of by themselves. Lisa Rice, regional manager for Morgan Properties—a company that manages 150 apartment communities across the country—gave us the lowdown on what you should cover, fix yourself or report to maintenance.

What You Will Be Responsible For

Many residents will be responsible for minor repairs to their apartments. According to Rice, Morgan Properties residents need to take care of the following:

Changing lightbulbs
Changing batteries in the smoke detectors
Removing stains
Managing trash
Unclogging the toilet and garbage disposals
Many communities also require residents to replace air filters

Before Calling In a Repair Request, You Should Try

You don’t want to report a repair unless it’s necessary. Before you call one in, Rice suggests trying the following DIY tips:

Changing batteries and lightbulbs
Resetting the garbage disposal
Flipping the breaker on the electrical panel when the power goes out
Turning off the water source to cut off the water supply line to toilets and washer machines
Opening the back of the toilet to check if the flapper chain is connected for proper flushing
Taking out the trash
Cleaning up after pets as soon as possible
“Keeping your home clean goes a long way,” says Rice.

What You Should Report

If your apartment is flooding or if the AC goes out in the summertime, you need to report major or emergency repairs as soon as possible. Not just for yourself but as a courtesy to your neighbors too.

“Residents should never try to repair serious damages that stem from fires, broken pipes, faulty electrical outlets, holes in the walls, and anything else not included in the responses above,” says Rice. “Ultimately, leases do not allow for tenants to repair items on their own, and we would prefer that they didn’t because it can sometimes cause more problems, especially if the attempted repairs are unreported. It’s important to note that our leases state residents must call in repair items.”

Most apartment communities have an emergency hotline you can call in case of a serious, immediate incident. For all other issues, it’s best to report them online or to call apartment community’s office managers.

Once you’ve figured out whether you can and should make the repair, use one of these DIY renter’s home fixes!

About :

Ever since I first started writing for my middle school newspaper, I knew that I was born to tell stories. Well, that and travel. I've been fortunate enough in my professional life to combine both loves. My work has appeared on sites like USA Today, Fast Company, Racked, Refinery29 and The Daily Meal. I enjoy covering lifestyle topics like food, fitness, travel and decor. When I'm not writing or travelling, you'll find me reading books, playing with my two Chihuahuas, exercising or searching for my next great cup of coffee. I've never met a cupcake I didn't like. Visit Chocolate and Chihuahuas


  1. What do you do when there is flooding and a backed up pipe and water sits for 4 days and you reported it on the first day and everyday after and the assistant property manager tells you it will be taking care of and still nothing?
    • Diane,

      You should ask the property manager what options you have within your lease as sometimes there are major differences in what you can do. If they allow for it, you could handle the repairs and have that amount taken from your next month’s rent. In other cases, the property has it’s own maintenance crew and you have to wait till they address the problem.

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