Were you ever caught in a situation wherein you thought that the problems regarding a light bulb, window, plumbing, etc were an easy fix then later realized that they were actually not?
In this blog, let's go through important scenarios that should be brought up to the landlord’s attention immediately.
If you just moved into you rental property and you have been seeing a lot of “unwanted visitors” in your rental property (i.e., cockroaches, rodents, termites), speak to the landlord so they can address the issue immediately. However, if you have been living there awhile, make sure to clean your place and see if the infestation is eliminated. Your landlord might think that you may have caused the infestation by not keeping the premises clean.
When flood water is starting to rise and that it’ll soon start splashing waves of water into your home, make a quick call to the landlord and inform them of the current situation.
Notice a spike in your water bill? Or do you hear/see water running when you have made sure that all the faucets have been tightly shut? Call your landlord immediately to mitigate any exorbitant water bill.
Guam has high humidity so make sure you keep your place clean and have air circulating. Your lease includes a Mold/Ventilation Addendum advising you of what you need to do to prevent mold from growing in your rental property. If you see mold buildup, don’t wait for the situation to worsen. Call your landlord
Call the local fire department for emergency assistance and followed by a call to the landlord.
Aside from the “unwanted visits” from animals/insects, “unwanted human visitor” might also occur especially if you’re just new in the neighborhood. If this happens, call the local police immediately and followed by a call to the landlord informing them of what just happened at their property.
Water heater malfunctions
Water line breaks
Sudden leak in the ceiling
Air condition unit malfunctions
Garbage disposal fails
Other appliances that were there when you moved-in that has stopped working
Contact the landlord immediately once a crucial repair is needed around the property.
When communicating to your landlord, try to properly explain the situation and mention if you have tried rectifying the issue prior to calling them. Tell them the kind of assistance that you need. It is also important that as a tenant, aside from verbally informing your landlord about the occurrences that has happened in their property, make sure you write down when the issue(s) started, call attempts you made to your landlord and the repairs that were done. Document everything.
Establishing a positive tenant-landlord communication is very important that is why these things MUST be discussed with your landlord:
Census. The landlord needs to know any changes to the number of people that reside in the property.
Animals. You need to disclose on your lease if you have any pets or get the landlord's written permission if you are planning to have pets in their property
Time away. Let your landlord know if and when you will be off-island for long periods of time. Have a friend you trust or your landlord check into your place once in awhile to make sure there is no water leak or condensation (if you're living in a condominium). Also ask them close your typhoon shutters should Guam go into TCOR2 while you are away.
Landscaping. Thinking of “beautifying” the garden? Make sure to seek permission from the landlord before taking actions.
Design. If you are planning to do a simple makeover at your rental property, chat (confirmed with an email) with the landlord about your plans and get permission to do it.
Remember to always document (email, pictures and videos with date stamps) to protect yourself.
As a tenant, it is important that you weigh the severity of the issue and to use common sense before speaking to the landlord. Also, being calm and rational throughout unpleasant situations will help everyone understand what’s going on, and what needs to be addressed. Your landlord is there to help you fix problems in the property. Being rude or playing the blaming game isn’t going to help the situation for anyone involved. Granted that not all landlords are great, accommodating or understanding. Documenting and having an accurate timeline will help you when you have to go to mediation/litigation.