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Summertime doesn't mean tenants should start slacking when it comes to their apartments; the summer heat and excitement can mean even more to worry about.
To ease your summer anxiety, here's a short summer to-do list that may come in handy for tenants:
1. Resolve Issues With Noisy Neighbors.
Every lease by common law entitles the renter to "quiet enjoyment" of the rented property, which not only includes keeping people out of your apartment but also literal quiet enjoyment free from noise.
If politely asking your neighbor for quiet is going nowhere, consider contacting your landlord or apartment manager via email and cc'ing your neighbor.
2. Get That Broken Shower Knob Fixed.
Enduring summer with a shower that has zero water pressure, or water that oscillates between scalding and arctic, is not just an inconvenience, it may be a violation of the terms of your lease if your landlord refuses to fix it.
Even if your lease does not explicitly guarantee you a working shower, you have basic rights to running water under an implied warranty of habitability which may force your landlord to fix your plumbing.
3. Figure Out Your A/C Situation.
Although landlords are generally required to provide some measure of heating, they typically don't need to provide you with air conditioning. (Unless, of course, it's specifically stipulated in your lease.)
That being said, if your unit already has an A/C unit and it breaks, then your landlord is required to keep it maintained and in working order -- just like any other appliance or fixture provided for on the rental property.
4. Keep Cool During a Power Outage.
Summer heat often goes hand in hand with summer blackouts, and even if you have an air conditioned apartment, you may be stuck sitting in a sweatbox.
Unless your landlord is directly responsible for your apartment not having power, your legal options aren't going to cool you down, although a trip to a public pool might.
5. Rent Out Your Place... Maybe.
Online listing services like Airbnb offer a way to rent out your apartment or even your room while you're away on a summer vacation. But you may want to check the subletting provision on your lease before you do.
Renting out your place might even violate state law, like in New York, where tenants cannot rent out a room for less than 30 days unless the tenant is living there.
6. Consider a Legal Protection Plan.
As landlord-tenant disputes are pretty common, it can help to have a legal professional on your side. That's where a personal legal plan like those offered by LegalStreet can come in handy.
With a LegalStreet plan, you can get an attorney to look over your lease, and even get a lawyer to draft letters on your behalf if there's ever an issue with your landlord or your neighbors. LegalStreet plans start at less than $13 a month -- a small price to pay for some legal peace of mind.
Disclosure: LegalStreet and FindLaw.com are owned by the same company.