Your Guide to Getting Your Landlord to Fix Things

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One of the great things about renting is that you're not financially responsible for fixing or replacing major things that go wrong in your living space. One of the downsides is that someone else is, and your problem may not be their priority. It's one thing to put up with a loose cabinet door or a scuffed linoleum floor, but it's entirely another to endure some indignities.

Apartment Therapy​ editor Ella Cerón wants to remind us that we don't actually have to suffer through really subpar living conditions until they get too frustrating to ignore. While she's writing about her experiences with New York City landlords, the lessons she shares are universal. In her case, Cerón was able to get her cabinets replaced, since they hadn't been properly cleaned before she moved in — or in a number of years, judging from the grime she kept trying to clean off and then live with.

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First and foremost, it's not necessary to wait until a problem becomes monumental. You're allowed to ask your management to attend to smaller fixes before they turn into big ones. No matter what, give yourself documentation and some kind of electronic or paper trail, to show that you've been persistent and reasonable asking for accommodations. "If you do have a bad landlord, starting out early gives you more momentum for when something big happens," one expert told Cerón. "And if you have a good landlord, you get the repair done and it's over with."

See the whole piece for more perspective on whether you're asking for too much; in all likelihood, you're probably in the right.

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