Communication with Management
It is important to talk with the management just like is it is important to talk to your roommate. Tell management if something is broken and needs repair, if you have damaged something, if you are not getting along with your roommate, or if you are having trouble paying your rent. These are things to discuss in a timely manner with management. Below are tips in maintaining positive communication and relationship with you and management.
Tips for positive interactions:
- When looking for an apartment you should do a thorough search. You will be happier with the place you choose if you take your time.
- Know what is expected of you as a tenant. Read your lease and be sure to get a copy of your signed lease.
- Have with you the necessary information when going to sign a lease. (ID, Social Security card, permanent address information, proof of being a SF, or UF student, references if needed.)
- Get it in writing! Anything you have been told verbally that isn’t on the lease make sure it is written, dated and signed by you and management.
- Pay your rent on time!
- Follow up with management for all maintenance issues.
- If you damage any part of your rental unit notify management immediately.
- Maintain the rental unit and any exterior grounds according to your lease. Rental houses may require tenants to maintain the lawn and plants.
- Dispose of your garbage properly. Do not let garbage pile up.
- You are responsible for any damages your guests might cause.
- Be responsible if you have a party. Do not serve alcohol to minors, do not have open parties with people you do not know, and do not allow guest noise or music to disturb neighbors.
- Follow all management standards or lease guidelines.
- If you are not sure about painting your bedroom a color you like, ask before you paint. You have to follow management guidelines if you want to get your deposit back when you move out.
What if my landlord refuses repairs?
If you follow the exact requirements of the law, you may be able to withhold your rent or terminate your lease. You must give the landlord a written notice demanding the repairs be made in seven days and the notice must indicate your intention to terminate the lease or withhold rent if the repairs are not made. NOTE! You should obtain legal advice before attempting to terminate your lease or withhold rent. See Student Legal Services! This is a complicated process and the legal consequences are very serious.
- Do not do repairs yourself because the law does not guarantee you will be able to recoup the cost of the repairs from management.
- In Gainesville’s current rental market, the odds are that you will be sued unless you supply acceptable replacement tenants for your apartments so you cannot just move out during your lease and forfeit your security deposit. Losses will not be limited to your security deposit, but will include rent for each month the apartment remains vacant during the term of your lease, plus court costs and the landlord’s attorney’s fees.
- Your last month’s rent cannot be your security deposit. The purpose of the security deposit is to protect the landlord against damages to the apartment. Landlords can legally evict you for non-payment of rent even when your security deposit is equal to your last month’s rent.
- There are three methods that management must hold security deposits. Two methods require interest to be paid on the deposit. Most managements use the method that does not require interest. Management is required to inform you in writing how your deposit is being held, where it is held and whether you will receive interest.