Alcove is here to help clarify landlord responsibility and recommendations when it comes to property damage and repairs.
We all know that not every support ticket request and property damage is created equal. Whether a minor inconvenience or structural damage, landlords are expected to respond to a tenant's support ticket in timely manner and provide clear communication on expectations, next steps, and timelines. Below are Alcove's expectations when it comes to maintaining and repairing your rental property.
- What's in the Lease?
- General Process Overview
- Responsibility for Responding to Support Tickets / Repair Requests
- Landlord Responsibility for Managing/Completing Repairs
- Landlord Responsibility for Paying for Repairs
- Additional Recommendations and Resources
What's in the Lease?
Per the lease, a Landlord's obligations are as follows:
6. Landlord’s Obligations: Unless otherwise agreed upon, the Landlord shall:
(a) comply with the applicable building and housing codes to the extent required by such building and housing codes;
(b) make all repairs to the Premises as may be necessary to keep the Premises in a fit and habitable condition; provided, however, in accordance with paragraph 11, the Tenant shall be liable to the Landlord for any repairs necessitated by the Tenant’s intentional or negligent misuse of the Premises;
(c) keep all common areas, if any, used in conjunction with the Premises in a clean and safe condition;
(d) promptly repair all facilities and appliances, if any, as may be furnished by the Landlord as part of the Premises, including electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, provided that the Landlord, except in emergency situations, actually receives notification from the Tenant in writing of the needed repairs; and
(e) within a reasonable period of time based upon the severity of the condition, repair or remedy any imminently dangerous condition on the Premises after acquiring actual knowledge or receiving notice of the condition. Notwithstanding Landlord’s repair or remedy of any imminently dangerous condition, Landlord may recover from Tenant the actual and reasonable costs of repairs that are the fault of Tenant.
Frequently Asked Questions about Landlord obligations:
What is the definition of "Fit" and "Habitable?":
Landlords should be aware of and reference their local housing and building codes for specifics, but at a high-level, Fit and Habitable includes
- a roof that keeps out rain and snow
- sufficient drinkable and hot water
- reliable heat and air conditioning based on the season and outside temperatures
- sturdy floors and walls that are structurally sound
- no significant danger from environmental hazards such as lead, asbestos, and mold
- reasonable protection from criminal intrusion (lockable doors and windows)
What is the Support Ticket Process?:
The general support ticket and repair process follows:
- Tenant creates support ticket within the Alcove Support Portal
- An Alcove Team Member reviews the ticket and, if determined to be the responsibility of the landlord to resolve, adds the landlord to the ticket. A notification will immediately be sent to the landlord and their Alcove Manager Portal will show an Open Ticket on their main page
- Depending on the severity of the issue, Landlords are expected to submit an initial response confirming receipt of the support ticket and providing an initial decision to accept the request, deny the request, or request additional information.
- A landlord may choose to change this decision at any time.
- For a denial, Landlords should provide clear reasoning for denying the request
- Landlord changes the status of the ticket to "Fix in Progress" once they begin working on the repair and provide regular updates to the tenants and Alcove on timeline, scheduled onsite repairs, any delays, and next steps.
- Once the repairs are completed, the landlord should confirm and change the ticket status to "Resolved."
- If a landlord determines that the tenants are at fault for the damage or issue, they should follow the Alcove repair reimbursement process (see below)
Regarding timing, how are "promptly" and "reasonable period of time" defined?:
Most states, cities, and municipalities purposefully leave these terms undefined. That said, Alcove has provided full documentation on our expectations for what is prompt, timely, and reasonable for repairs. At a high-level, Alcove expects landlords to:
- Confirm receipt of support tickets in 48 hours, or less, of being notified a new ticket has been submitted
- Have Critical tickets resolved within 5 business days
- Have High Priority tickets resolved within 1 week
- Have Medium Priority tickets resolved within 2 weeks
- Have Low Priority tickets resolved within 1 month
How do I get reimbursed for a repair I believe is tenant caused?:
As per our platform's lease agreement and policies, landlords and owners are responsible for all repairs and maintenance at their properties. Upon notification of repairs or maintenance needed, Alcove asks that you take action and schedule the repair with your own vendor, or book a service vendor on the Alcove Marketplace.
If it is not immediately determinable who is responsible for the issue, but you suspect that the cause is attributed to the actions or negligence of the current tenants (as opposed to general wear & tear or natural failure through regular use) Alcove recommends creating a support ticket with the tenant(s) believed to be responsible for the issue to better understand what may have caused it. We then suggest you engage your chosen service professional to inspect & document their determination of the origin of the issue. Their findings may be documented via email correspondence, or on an invoice, or inspection report.
Please inform tenants of when to expect service providers for any repairs or maintenance by adding the appointment to the support ticket. Once you or your chosen service professional has completed their services, provide the invoices or receipt along with the documented cause of the damage to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team will assess the documentation to ensure compliance with our reimbursement guidelines.
Once the review process is completed, and tenant responsibility is confirmed through support channels, Alcove will process reimbursement to the owner/landlord via the ledger, typically within 5 business days. Subsequently, the tenant(s) responsible will be charged for the costs incurred.
Can Alcove just complete the repairs for me?:
No. Alcove is not a property management company. Alcove is the web platform to assist landlords in managing their co-living properties, tenants, and payments. We have listed a few highly regarded professionals in our market or recommend using Task Rabbit, which can be done 100% online.