Please note that these tips are for general situations. At no time, should you do anything you feel is unsafe or are unsure about. You may require some basic tools, but please be very careful if using a tool that you do not damage any part of the item you are attempting to repair. Please note we will not reimburse you for items such as fuses, smoke detector batteries and light bulbs. These are the responsibility of the tenant once you have moved in. In addition, please also note that we do not pay for window coverings of any kind except in a few select circumstances.
Once you follow the steps outlined below, please contact us through the tenant portal or by phone. It is important that you do not attempt to make repairs or have someone who is not qualified try to do so. We have licensed vendors with whom we work with to ensure that whatever repairs are made, actually resolve the problem and prevent further damage or reoccurrence.
My dryer works but does not dry clothes entirely.
First, check to make sure that the lint trap and the vent hose are clear. Sometimes lint builds up and prevents the dryer from working properly. Also, check the vent outside. Sometimes birds will build nests in the vent openings if there is no net to prevent it. Make sure that the dryer door closes all the way. Ensure that the clothes you put in are properly wrung out. Clothing that is still dripping wet coming out of the washer will take more than one cycle to dry. Clothing should be damp but not dripping when it comes out of the washer and before they go in the dryer.
The burners on my stove, or my oven don’t work.
First, check to see if the elements are heating at all by turning them on. Please do not touch them with your bare hands. You should feel heat coming from the elements and they may turn a bright red in most cases. In the oven, there are two elements, one on the bottom and one on the top. Make sure to check them both. Turn it on broil to make sure the top element is working. In older models, there are fuses under the lid at the top of the stove. Usually, burnt fuses look cloudy or grey. If you replace fuses, they must be of the same voltage. Ex. replace a 30W with a 30W. There is usually a diagram to let you know which voltage goes where. Please note that putting in foil on the base of your oven will prevent one of the elements from working so please refrain from doing this.
My fridge is not working.
Most fridges need to be set in the normal range or mid-way on the dial. There is usually a vent under the dial which allows cold air from the freezer to come down into the fridge. Make sure that it is not blocked by a food item and that air can flow freely. Check the cooling coils at the back of the fridge. If they are covered in dust, vacuum the coils gently. Make sure that the fridge door closes all the way. If your food is freezing, but the fridge portion doesn’t seem cold enough, you may have the fridge set too low, turn it up a little bit at a time as to not freeze the food in your fridge.
My freezer is not working.
Most freezers have vents in them that allow the cold air to come into the freezer. The most important thing to do is to make sure that the vents are not blocked by items in the freezer. The air must be able to circulate in the freezer. Check to make sure that the dial is set low enough to freeze food properly.
My outlet does not work.
First make sure the electrical item is plugged in all the way before assuming there is a problem with the outlet. You would be surprised how often this turns out to be the problem. Try the top and bottom plug in each socket. Try using another item that you know works, like a lamp from another room to make sure the outlet works. Next, check the breaker panel or fuse box, which is often located in a basement, depending on the set up of your rental unit. If a breaker is flipped, flip it back to the on position. You will be able to tell if this is the case because one breaker will be flipped one way and all the others will be flipped the other way. On a breaker panel, all breakers need to be facing the same direction. If you have a fuse box, fuses that need to be replaced will often be blackened or cloudy. You can buy fuses at a hardware store or in the hardware section of your favourite department store. Make sure that the fuse is the same voltage. Ex. Replace a 30W with a 30W. This is as simple as changing a light bulb.
If you constantly find that when you run the toaster, or a specific item such as a small kitchen appliance, that it flips the breaker, this means that there is too much loaded on that particular breaker. You need to plug the toaster in another plug or move your kitchen appliances so that you are no longer overloading the breaker by turning the toaster on. Sometimes this will take some trial and error or investigating to see what breaker is responsible for the power to the outlets.
See some specific examples below. Anything else, do not try to deal with on your own. Contact us and we will have a licensed electrician come to investigate.
My light bulbs keep burning out.
If you replace a bulb in the ceiling fan or light fixture and it does not work, try a bulb from some other fixture that you know works. Often we find that the inexpensive light bulbs, and especially Dollarama light bulbs, do not last and need to be replaced often and in some cases burn out immediately. We encourage you to invest in energy efficient light bulbs. Not only will they last longer, they will save you money on utilities and will reduce your carbon footprint, which we highly encourage.
My ceiling fan is wobbly.
Ceiling fans after extended use will become noisy or a bit wobbly. This can sometimes be because screws have come loose and need to be tightened. Occasionally, fan blades become warped. There is little that can be done in these situations as a lot of the properties that you’re in are older, some have plaster ceilings, etc. Sometimes slowing the speed down one level will prevent the wobbling from being noticeable. Generally, we do not replace ceiling fans with new ones. If we come out and the fan is not repairable we will likely install a new ceiling-mounted light fixture.
One of my plumbing fixtures is leaking.
Most sinks and toilets have shut off valves underneath them. If you are experiencing severe leaks, please turn off the water to stop it from leaking. Once you have cleaned up the water as required, please let us know so we can send a plumber out to resolve the issue.
My toilet is running constantly or for long periods of time.
If the toilet runs constantly, you can sometimes bend the arm of the flapper upward slightly so that it will sit higher in the tank. This will sometimes stop the running of the toilet.
My toilet is or might overflow.
Turn the water off by turning the shut off valve all the way off. Once you have mopped up the mess please contact us. Please make sure that you are not flushing anything down the toilet but toilet paper. Feminine products need to be disposed of in a garbage pail. Paper towels are too thick to breakdown and can become lodged in the plumbing.
My sink is not draining.
Please make sure that you are not throwing down bits of food. The food is often heavier than water and settles at the bottom of a bend in the pipes. After a period of time, food accumulates enough that water cannot flow through smoothly.
Please do not use DRAINO or other clog-removers as they can damage older pipes leading to expensive repairs and replacements of pipes. Please contact us so that we can send a licensed plumber to resolve the issue.
My furnace is not working.
If you have a forced air gas furnace please ensure that the levers on your thermostat are set at heat and at auto. Set the temperature past 27 degrees Celcius or past 85 degrees Farenheit temporarily. Wait a few moments to see if the furnace kicks on, you should hear it through the vents. If it does not, try moving the lever to fan on to see if this will kick the furnace on. *NOTE: You will not feel a lot of air coming out of the vents immediately, it is more important that you can hear the furnace kick on. Please remember to turn your thermostat back down if you realize that perhaps the temperature was just set too low, and in fact it is working. We recommend that you keep your thermostat at 22 degrees Celcius or 72 degrees Farenheit. If the furnace does not kick on after a few minutes, go take a look at the bottom of the furnace. You might have to open a little door, but you want to see if the pilot light (small blue flame) is lit. If it is not and you feel comfortable doing so, you can try relighting it. NOTE: If you smell a strong gas-odour, please do not attempt to light it. Take a look at the furnace filter. Most filters need to be replaced every three months. This is the tenant’s responsibility in a single family house. If it is clogged, this will prevent the furnace from coming on. Make sure that your vents are open. If after all of this, the furnace is not working, please contact us immediately.
My baseboard heaters are not working.
If you have baseboard heaters, look for the control mechanism. Some will have thermostats on a wall and some may have knobs you must adjust manually. If there are knobs, turn the knob all the way up. Wait about ten minutes and see if the heater is getting warm. If it is not, turn it all the way the other way. Again, wait ten minutes to see if it begins heating up. You will be able to touch it to see if it is warming up. Control knobs can usually be found on an end or on a front of the heater.
My radiators are not working.
If you have radiators that produce heat (hot water or steam going through pipes), look for a control valve which will allow you to adjust the temperature. Control valves often look like outdoor or very old-fashioned taps and are metal. Try to turn it all the way one way to open the valve. Wait about ten minutes to see if you can feel any heat coming in at all. If that does not work, try turning it all the way the other way and wait about ten minutes. If that does not work or if water comes out, close it and contact us immediately. *NOTE: There is also a small bolt that can be opened very slowly in most water heaters. When you open it you will hear a soft hissing. This is air escaping from the pipes and not to worry about. You should close it if any water begins to escape. Please note this water may be very hot.
When we schedule a time to do a repair, we will advise you of a date, but not a specific time. This allows us to schedule according to location, but also by priority. If absolutely necessary, we will give you a window in which you can expect us to come. Ex. we may suggest that we will attend between 9am and 11am. In most cases we will enter with our keys, as we have a legal obligation to conduct repairs provided you have been given 24 hours notice.
You MUST let us know if you have a dog. If you have a dog, you or someone, will need to be present during the repair to control the dog. Even a friendly dog can become aggressive when protecting their home. If you cannot be home, the dog must be secured in a room or in a crate.
Please ensure the area where we need to work is free and clear of furniture, household items and personal belongings. For example, if we need to work on a window, but there is a bed under the window, we will not be able to work until the bed has been moved. Our maintenance staff is not allowed to move furniture and personal items. Furthermore, we do not accept any liability for any damage to any of your belongings while we are in your home. If we have to work around something and it is damaged, it will not be replaced.
For drywall patching: We will do our best to make the repair as inconspicuous as possible, but please note we will not match paint colour unless you supply it. The only exception to this is when it has been painted with one of our colours, which are in the beige family. In some cases it may be necessary for us to paint an entire wall white or beige.
If you are not going to be home and we are there to look at an outlet or something specific, where there could be some confusion about which one we are supposed to look at, please mark it with some painters tape or masking tape. If we have a scheduled appointment for you to be home, and you need to leave, please contact us immediately.
If you have a specific appointment with us because you have a dog or for some other reason and you are not home, therefore we are unable to gain entry, you will be billed for a service call. This fee is $25.00. We will do our best to accommodate you for non-urgent maintenance requests; however, our staff have a lot of items to address so it is crucial that you communicate with us when you aren’t going to be available.