6 common problems in apartments—and how to prevent them
Easy fixes without needing the landlord
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From unexpected rodent roommates to a stove that has weak heat to furniture with some … peculiar smells, renting an apartment can bring plenty of unexpected twists.
The wild world of renting can be wonderful, but it also has headaches. Both a perk and downfall of renting is that the maintenance of the facility is out of your control.
While you won’t have to pay for the electrician to come or for a new appliance to be replaced, you are at the whim of your landlord or maintenance company to fix issues that arise.
However, there are some common problems that arise in apartments that you can take into your own hands. With some wise purchases, you can solve some of the most common problems that apartment dwellers face.
1. Secure your home with fire and smoke detectors
When touring an apartment, always ask about the smoke detectors. Some apartment buildings may have hardwired systems with sprinkles that are out of your control. Other buildings may have smoke detectors that will need their batteries replaced. If the latter is the case, then check your smoke detectors monthly to make sure they’re in working order.
While apartment buildings come outfitted with smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors are equally important but may not be required to be installed by the landlord. Especially if your building uses gas heat and you have a gas stove, you’ll want carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
You can get a dual smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector if you’re worried thatyour building may have faulty ones.
If you’re just in need of a carbon monoxide detector, then you can get a wall plug-in to keep you and your roommates protected.
- Get the Google Nest Protect at Amazon for $114.79
- Get the First Alert CO605 Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detector at Amazon for $27.99
2. Keep pesky pests out
The horror of walking into your kitchen to find a mouse scurrying across the countertop is every renter’s nightmare. If you find yourself in a situation where pests become a problem and your landlord isn’t moving quickly, you can take some steps on your own.
If you know where the pests are coming in from, you can target those spots with some DIY kits. There are nets made to go over air vents as well as steel wool that can stuff holes.
You can also get yourself some mouse traps. Glue boards can stop mice and insects in their tracks; however, this method isn’t for the faint of heart. Being out in the open, you will see the pests when you catch them, and you’ll have to touch them upon disposal.
If you’re particularly squeamish, then go for no-view, no-touch traps that will keep pests out of site upon disposal.
- Get the Xcluder Rodent Control Fill DIY Kit at Amazon for $19.67
- Get the Floor Register Trap at Amazon for $11.50
- Get the Catchmaster Mouse and Insect Glue Boards at Amazon for $27.97
- Get the d-CON No View, No Touch Covered Mouse Trap at Amazon for $21.99
3. Keep temperatures steady
Appliances in a rental can be completely unreliable. Unless you’re lucky enough to be moving into a freshly renovated apartment then the appliances in your space are likely a few years old and have been through many tenants. If you’re frustrated by your produce spoiling too fast in the refrigerator or your food overcooking in the oven, then it’s time to get some thermometers.
Investing $25 in both a refrigerator and oven thermometer can help you adjust the settings on your appliances. Refrigerators need to stay below 40°F to keep your food fresh, so utilizing this thermometer will let you know when you need to set your refrigerator to a cooler setting.
- Get the KT Thermo Oven Thermometer at Amazon for $11.60
- Get the Rubbermaid Refrigerator and Freezer Thermometer at Amazon for $10.47
4. Save water and time with a countertop dishwasher
While some appliances are faulty, others might not even be there. Many units don’t include a dishwasher, which can be a real bummer. However, a countertop dishwasher is a superb solve.
Dishwashers actually use less water than hand-washing dishes, so investing in a countertop dishwasher saves you time and resources.
They are bulky and require some significant counterspace next to a sink. However, once purchased it can come with you from apartment to apartment.
5. Bring in some in-unit laundry
In-unit laundry is a true luxury for apartment dwellers. While some apartments have shared laundry in the basement, others leave you to bring your laundry down the street to a laundromat.
If you’re not into the idea of hauling your laundry a couple of block and spending hours there washing and drying your laundry, think about investing in a portable washing machine.
These machines weigh under 20 pounds and attach to your sink as a water source. Some portable machines offer twin tubs so that one side can wash clothes while the other spins the water out of them.
Your clothes will still be damp despite being spun dry so grab a laundry rack to let your clothes air dry fully.
- Get the Giantex Portable Mini Compact Twin Tub Washing Machine at Amazon for $209.99
- Get the Amazon Basics Foldable Laundry Rack at Amazon for $36.88
6. Get deep into the depths of your furniture
If your rental comes pre-furnished – amazing! That saves you time and money hauling in new pieces. However, rented furniture can be a little … filthy.
Lingering in the depths of upholstered furniture are germs and debris from previous tenants. While you can always spray down any solid furniture with a great all-purpose spray, upholstery requires a bit more work.
Upholstered chairs and couches can be tough to clean, but a great fabric cleaner can remove even the oldest stains.
For something more heavy duty, a portable upholstery cleaning machine will suck out all the dirt and soiled stains that are in the depths of the fabric. You won’t believe what secrets are hiding in the furniture.
- Get the Microban Disinfectant Spray at Amazon for $13.50
- Get the ForceField Fabric Cleaner at Amazon for $14.75
- Get the Bissell Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner at Amazon for $108.59
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.