1)All the usual cold weather reminders are still in effect. Since the February newsletter was published, we have had several snow days!
2) Temperatures have been fluctuating above and below freezing which has caused dangerious icy conditions. Be sure to keep sidewalks shoveled and ice melt on icy patches. Please also clear snow and ice from utility meters.
3) Our monthly reminder - have you changed filters recently? If not, please do so right away. Clean filters improves the performance of your furnace and keeps your air quality free of allergens and dust. If you don’t know where to find you filters, or how to change them, call your property manager.
4) If your gutters are full of leaves and debris, you may notice them overflowing when it rains, or sagging from weight, or growing plants. If you witness any of these tell-tale signs, please take a photo of the evidence and submit it to us through the property meld system on our website so that we can issue a work order.
6) Your foundation vents should have been closed up for the winter. This reduces freezing air from creating a hazard to crawl space plumbing and will also help to keep your home warmer. But remember, as it turns to Spring weather, to open these vents up to promote healthy air circulation.
If you have any maintenance concerns for your yard or your home please CONTACT US! All maintenance concerns should be submitted through property meld, accessed on our website, under the Tenant Tab – Maintenance Request – Submit Work Order.
If you use the online portal to pay your monthly rent, please note that PayLease is increasing their fees to $3.95 effective 3/12/19. This charge applies only to e-checks, not debit/credit cards. If you are currently set up for auto-payments you will be grandfathered into your current fee schedule with no increase in cost. Currently most tenants pay a fee of $2.95 or $2.00 depending on whether they were grandfathered in for the last increase.
Implied Warranty of Habitability
By Athena Savoglou
Back in old times, a tenant’s duty to pay rent transcended the condition of their property. In other words, a tenant was in violation of the law for nonpayment of rent, even if their property had become uninhabitable due to bad living conditions. For example, if a ceiling had caved, or a bathroom had flooded, a tenant was responsible for making rent payments, whether or not the landlord fixed the ceiling or bathroom. This made for a very oppressive system for tenants, in which they had virtually no rights, while landlords had nearly no responsibilities.
Thankfully, things are different today. Usually, before you move into a rental property, you must sign a lease with a number of addenda that cover most scenarios that could happen during your tenancy. Sometimes these documents can be lengthy and complicated; but not to fear. Even in cases where a landlord forgets to include a clause for habitable living conditions, we have the Implied Warranty of Habitability. This warranty exists in every residential lease, regardless of whether it is explicitly mentioned.
At the outset of modern residential property law, courts became concerned with tenants’ rights in the interest of general policy and fairness. This led them to repeatedly rule that a proper tenant is entitled to a habitable living situation, whether or not they had signed a document stating it. Therefore, courts today treat the implied warranty of habitability like it is in every residential lease, adding a layer of protection for tenants everywhere.
So, if something happens in your home, which may cause short or long term damage (e.g. a slow leak), say something! Not only is it in your best interests, but it is your responsibility to report maintenance issues to your property manager so that your home can be kept in good condition, and to protect the owner from a potentially costly deteriorating situation.
Repairs made easy! View our August 2018 article on RMA’s Property Meld System.