Learn more about how Apartment Guide is responding to coronavirus and taking steps to help renters and property managers during this challenging time.
Living through the coronavirus pandemic means many everyday activities have changed. We no longer eat out in restaurants. We use drive-up delivery instead of going into the store. One thing that won't change is the necessity to live in a safe home.
As such, apartment maintenance will continue throughout this unique time. While maintenance requests will still come in, the way in which they're handled can change. Knowing how to deal with this can help you get your own requests resolved faster.
Yes. As of publication, workers handling property management, maintenance and related service calls are still considered essential. Even if you're living in an area with a shelter in place recommendation, you can still have many repairs done in your apartment.
Before coronavirus changed the way we interacted with people, a written apartment maintenance request was the best way to go. It allows you to keep a paper trail of the request. It also helps the maintenance staff categorize the level of importance for your issue.
If what you need isn't that serious, they can shift your request back without losing it in the shuffle. Conversely, if you have a more immediate need, they'll get to it faster having a formal document to reference.
Phone calls may also work, but during busy periods, you may end up going straight to voicemail. Then, you're dependent on that message getting heard in time. With no paper trail, your request may be harder to track. A good strategy is to send in a written request and use the phone as a way to follow up.
If your apartment community offers a digital submission form for apartment maintenance, take full advantage. Living in an apartment building with this amenity works in your favor during the coronavirus isolation.
Digital systems help maintenance staff move from order to order. They don't have to go back to the office each time they're ready for a new request. Using these types of systems can help get your requests handled faster. It can also make communication from management and service staff to you easier and more efficient.
The answer to this question stems from many factors, from the size of your apartment building to the available maintenance staff.
“When more residents are home, the need for service and work orders escalate," according to Amy Groff, senior vice president of industry operations at the National Apartment Association.
Speaking to Forbes, Groff says that coronavirus can impact the ability to handle requests. If workers are sick, fewer repairs will receive service within a single day. This can cause things to pile up a little. Your property manager should over-communicate their maintenance plans and capabilities to you often, such as:
It might be best to wait before reporting a minor cosmetic repair request because some apartment communities will be prioritizing larger or emergency repairs. If you have any questions, ask the property manager.
When maintenance personnel do enter your apartment check to see they're taking proper precautions to limit the spread of germs. They should wear gloves, putting on a fresh pair in front of you before they begin their work. They need to also maintain a clean work area and wash their hands each time they trade out gloves. Hand washing is the best defense against the spread of germs. It helps protect both of you from passing germs to each other.
In some cases, apartment communities are sending fewer maintenance workers to individual apartments. Justin Becker, the owner of Brookfield Management, says his maintenance staff is working alone to respect social distancing.
To stay on top of what you should expect, check in on maintenance information regularly. The protocol for personnel entering your apartment should be listed, as well as any changes to hours of operation or how to submit requests. Keeping on top of this helps ensure your maintenance needs get processed correctly.
If you do test positive for the coronavirus, notify your property manager. Take extra precautions in disinfecting commonly touched objects in your home, especially when you know someone is coming to fix something. Try to stay in a separate room, with the door closed, while they're there. At the very least, practice appropriate distancing of at least six feet.
Continue staying informed about the apartment maintenance procedures in your building. While they may continue to change, don't hesitate to submit a maintenance request should the need arise.