With this post we bid farewell and good luck to Katherine who has made a big move in her career and has to cut back on her extracurriculars, including blogging for My First Apartment. The good news is that this opens up another blogger slot, so if you are interested, drop us a note to [email protected].
How we got our sink fixed (and how you can get yours done too!) by Katherine
We all know it isn’t fun to ask a landlord to fix something. Especially something cosmetic. If there’s an emergency, they’re usually there pretty promptly (we hope!), but otherwise, forget it. It seems to take a gas leak for most landlords to get off their couch. It’s your right to ask for necessary improvements and repairs, so step up to the plate and do it. Here’s how my roommate and I got it done:
First, we made a plan. This way we wouldn’t be caught with our pants down. Together, we sat down and said to ourselves “Why do we deserve this?” And then we wrote down all those reasons:
1. We are clean, quiet, and respectful
2. The apartment is in better shape than when we arrived
a. Kitchen updated in a nice crisp white
b. Hardwood floors polished
c. Carpet no longer in back bedroom
3. This was a concern we had raised upon renting the property
4. It will increase the value of the property
Second, we took this list to our landlord. We called him together on speaker phone and asked if he had a moment. We then carefully laid out what we wanted: a retouching of the sink basin in the bathroom. We were planning on redecorating the bathroom and didn’t want to proceed without fixing the sink. Then we waited for his response, which was….”I don’t know if that is something that can be done at this moment. “ Typical.
This is where we listed our reasons, mostly that we are clean and quiet and had expressed concern over this detail when we went through the first inspection of the place. Now, our landlord happens to be very agreeable and after discussing the matter calmly with him he agreed. Just like that. He said it couldn’t be done right away, and we asked if it might be completed by the end of June. He said yes.
Third, I will be following up with as the month draws to a close. Because as nice and responsible a guy as he is, this probably isn’t something he wants to add to his to do list.
We had a few things working in our favor on this issue. One is that we have an agreeable landlord and the other is this is only a cosmetic non-urgent issue. So we have the luxury of time. Which is good for our landlord, but might prove detrimental if he continues to drag his toes. We’ll see. For now, I feel like an honest conversation was a success. Of course, it does help to be good tenants too. If you have a landlord less likely to fix things, it helps to get on his good side first. Pay your rent promptly. Don’t be loud. Don’t break things. Landlords and people too, and I believe in their heart of hearts that they want to be helpful. You help them, they help you. Easy peezy lemon squeezie.