Keep it clean
One of the most important ways to maintain anything it is to clean it regularly and your apartment is no exception. A weekly cleaning schedule can make the chores go like clockwork. Check flylady.net for a treasure trove of ways to make keeping things tidy a breeze.
Though your landlord is responsible for keeping the premises free of insects and rodents, he or she is not liable for the cost of eliminating those pests if your housekeeping is the problem. Take your trash out every night, sweep your floor and avoid leaving dishes in the sink. Your garbage or dirty plates offer a veritable smorgasbord for freeloading insects or worse, as do sticky puddles or crumbs in your cupboards or around toasters.
Don’t give pests a way into your pantry goods either. Make sure anything that has been opened is sealed in a plastic bag. Also be sure to sweep and vacuum regularly under furniture. Dark places with crumbs offer an ideal setting for roaches, etc.
Also be sure to wipe down your stovetop, microwave and the interior of your refrigerator regularly. Your landlord is responsible for fixing appliances if something goes wrong, but you should keep them as free of food and grime as possible.
Mold and mildew can undermine grout in your shower that can lead to loose tiles. Be sure to clean your shower and tub regularly with non-abrasive cleaners.
If your apartment’s carpet was stained and dingy when you moved in, you should talk to the landlord about who will pay for a good steam cleaning. However, normal wear and tear on the floors is your responsibility. Be sure to vacuum and steam clean, if necessary, to keep grime and dust at bay. Also be sure that window coverings are dusted or cleaned regularly and that all rods or cords are kept in good condition.
Keep it dry
Major plumbing issues will require notification of your landlord, but a leaky faucet is less cut and dried. Check with your lease agreement to see whose responsibility repairs are and if you’re not sure, consult your manager. Be sure to get any kind of leak fixed as soon as possible. Not only can standing water cause damage to floors and ceilings but it is also an invitation to pests like roaches, who are always looking for a place to drink.
If you have a bathroom fan, use it regularly to keep moisture at bay and cut down on possible mold and mildew.
The air that you breathe
The HVAC system in your apartment building is the responsibility of your landlord, but you can help cut down on the dust in your home by removing and cleaning vent covers and, if you feel inspired, sticking your vacuum hose inside the immediately exposed duct. It’s important to wear a face mask that protects from airborne pathogens, as you never know if you’ll encounter mold or other nastiness in that duct. If you see problems, such as moisture, or if the ducts look like they haven’t been cleaned in a long time, be sure to let your landlord know.
Cooking smells and tobacco smoke can stick to walls, floor-coverings and furniture. Use the fan in your cooking range and an air purifier to help keep your apartment fresh smelling. Sprinkle a little baking soda inside the liner of your garbage can and you can help eliminate those odors as well.
Use common sense
Be sure to treat your apartment and the building itself with respect. Follow all building codes regarding health and safety, such as making sure you don’t overload outlets or block vents. If any problems arise within your apartment that are beyond a simple fix, be sure to inform your management team as soon as possible so the problem does not get worse.
Though you may not own your apartment, it is still your home, with the incumbent joys and responsibilities of any other. Using good sense and treating it with respect will allow you to get the most from it, and encourage those around you to do the same.
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