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  08 Mar 2023

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Maintenance and Repair for Student Housing

There are a lot of questions regarding maintenance and repair for student housing, who should do it, if it should come with extra cost, or how long it should take before reporting.

Above all, one thing is for sure, there will always be a need for maintenance and repair, no matter how modern or new the property is or how quality and well installed the amenities are. 

We will be discussing the basic things that both landlords or property managers  and residents of student housing should be aware of. These things will be potentially helpful for both parties in the long run. 

Should Maintenance and Repair for Student Housing Come With Extra Cost?

In student housing residents are usually not charged for normal maintenance and general repairs (such as plumbing, electricity, or furniture/appliance maintenance, etc.)

However, no matter how factual you think this information is, it is best to always confirm with the management of your student housing.

The reason why this precaution exists is because, just like any other business venture, some terms and conditions at your housing will be exclusive to just your student housing.

Student Housing Implied Warranty of Habitability

In almost all states, home leases and lease contracts contain a "implied assurance of habitability." This warranty guarantees that the property will be cozy, secure, and fit for habitation for the duration of the tenancy. 

The rental apartment must be hygienic and clean with access to heat, water, and electricity, and the property must be structurally secure. 

Tenants have a variety of options for enforcing the habitability promise because it is "implied" by law. Landlord-tenant legislation outlining the landlord's responsibility for upkeep and repairs have been passed by many states. 

Local ordinances typically have more specific standards for electrical wiring, lighting, and ventilation. In some states, a landlord can satisfy the habitability requirement by following local and state housing rules.

Certain states recognize the habitability warranty with a case-by-case approach, which means that the warranty applies regardless of any applicable municipal or state laws. 

For instance, California mandates that the property be "fit and habitable" for occupation, and this phrase is construed in court judgments. 

As a result, the courts occasionally hold landlords to a higher standard than the housing code and impose additional requirements. 

Additionally, tenants are accountable for maintaining the rented property. Throughout the entire tenancy, it has to be pristine and sanitary. 

The cost of repairs to the unit brought on by the tenant's carelessness or failure to perform their obligations may not be demanded of the landlord.

Are Residents Allowed to Maintain and Repair? (Common Student Housing Rules)

As mentioned previously, some rules regarding maintenance and repair may be exclusive to the particular student housing that you reside in. However, here are some common ones:

  • No painting or room modifications are allowed by residents. 
  • If you cause any damage, you are responsible for paying the building's restoration costs (or replacements). 
  • No furniture or equipment furnished by tenants may be maintained or repaired by the landlord. 
  • Never attach anything to the wall with nails, screws, hooks, or adhesive materials. 
  • You are liable for any harm you bring to the space. 

Are Residents Allowed to Withhold Rent?

If a tenant believes their landlord is not adequately addressing a significant or small repair issue, they have the legal authority to withhold rent in many states and towns. 

However, in most cases, this is only permitted where there are significant maintenance or habitability problems that weren't the tenant's fault, that you were made aware of and given a reasonable opportunity to address. 

In some areas, tenants who want to withhold payment must escrow it with a court or housing authority while they wait for the problematic repairs; you might be able to get access to some of that money for the necessary repairs. 

The renter may still ask for payment once the repairs are finished since they feel they were forced to live in subpar housing for a period of time.

Student Housing Maintenance and Repair Safety Procedures 

Avoid attempting to clean the exterior of your windows for safety's sake. For your own safety, don't sit on edges or lean into windows! 

A small potted plant that falls out of a window could potentially hurt a pedestrian. Avoid placing anything on top of radiators or on window sills. Never try to escape through a window.

What to do in Cases of Maintenance Emergencies

Typically residents are able to call student housing emergency maintenance lines for problems of a high urgency, such as a flooded room, gushing toilet, shower head, damaged faucet, or lock. 

Note: Only emergencies involving maintenance in student housing are handled by the 24-hour staff at such emergency numbers. 

For any additional service requirements, you can send a Fix-it request via email, text or call to a different line. 

The front desk or property manager can better identify your issue and assure the right response if you call emergency maintenance after regular business hours with the aid of a voicemail service. 

Be sure to provide the dispatcher with your full name, phone number, apartment address, and the precise location of the issue when the University's central dispatch centre answers the phone. 

The duty supervisor for student housing will make arrangements for the proper reaction.

More examples of urgent repairs include:

  • Leaking water pipes 
  • Faulty or blocked plumbing system 
  • Significant roof leak 
  • Fuel leak 
  • Dangerous Electricity problems 
  • Damage from floods and flooding 
  • Fire harm 
  • Significant storm damage 
  • Failure of the premises' gas, electricity, or water supplies 
  • The failure of a crucial service, such as the heating or cooking systems 
  • Anything that makes the property less secure or insecure

Are there Designated Property Managers That Handle Student Housing Maintenance and Repairs?

A rented property should absolutely be maintained and repaired by your property manager. Make sure they do by checking your rental agreement, and if not, look for a different property manager. 

Let's go over the advantages of hiring a property manager to handle repairs and upkeep:

  • Property managers have a network of skilled tradesmen and home maintenance firms they have worked with in the past and know will perform a great job. 
  • Due to our extensive backgrounds in these fields, property managers can estimate the cost of maintenance or repairs quite accurately. 
  • We are aware of the obligations that both tenants and their landlords have. 
  • As a landlord or renter, you have one less thing to worry about because we take care of all maintenance requests and chores.

Beyond onsite property management, it is also important for landlords and property managers to utilise the use of property management systems (PMS).

Using student housing property management systems like Booking Ninjas helps automate operational tasks which gives room for more productivity, accuracy, credibility and subsequent profitability. 

Key Takeaways 

If you have a damaged utility in your space, it is advised that you file a damage report right away. 

Failure to notify your landlord or property manager about an issue (such as a leaky faucet, water damage, etc.) could result in further and more difficult issues. 

Major plumbing problems, flooding, broken door locks, and other issues that put people or property at danger require emergency repairs.

To learn more about the Booking Ninjas property management system and what we do, schedule a free call with us right now!! 

Improve Your Property's Management, Operation & Revenue With Booking Ninjas Property Management System

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