Any tenant's first and foremost responsibility is paying the rent on time and not causing any damage to the property, or any inconvenience to the other tenants or landlord. Next is following the rules of the building or condo and a couple more rules of ours.*
After that we thought most people would figure out the rest on their own, however we recently realized that some of our tenants wanted a little more specific information on what their responsibilities are. So we decided to make a list. For a more comprehensive resource on expenses and budgeting, as well as account calculators and so on, see our blog post on Student Living Expenses.
So, this isn't everything, just 10 little things that come up as a question every once in a while. As you go through the list, if you notice there's stuff you might have to buy, make a note to speak to your roommates first to see if there is a common expense fund for any of them, or if you take turns buying, or if you just buy your own and keep it in your room. Other things on the list are responsibilities that should be common sense among people living together. You might want to discuss with your roommates and find out how you divide up those responsibilities too. Heres the list:
Toilet paper. When you move in, you might find that there is toilet paper on a roll in one or more of the bathrooms. This is either a one time courtesy from us, or it was put there by another tenant. MVP properties does not provide toilet paper.
Garbage bags. You should have garbage bags on hand for the kitchen garbage, and clear/blue bags for the blue box, otherwise they will leak on the floor and make a smelly gross kitchen. You should also have bags for the bathrooms and bedrooms, and anywhere you use a wastebasket. Grocery bags (with no holes) make good garbage bags for the smaller wastebaskets.
Taking out the garbage. Most of our units are in townhouse condos that have large, on-site garbage and recycling bins so you can put out the garbage 7 days a week. That's 6 more days than the rest of us get, so if you live in a townhouse condo, there's no reason for any dirty or smelly garbage buildup anywhere.
Cleaning the lint out of the dryer. This is super important and it concerns your safety and the safety of your roommates. The lint trap is a removable screen that catches lint so it can be removed and doesn't clog the dryer exhaust. It is located either inside a flap on the top of the dryer or inside the door opening. It must be cleaned out after every load as clogged dryer exhausts have been known to start fires. It would make sense to check it before you dry your clothes as well to be on the safe side.
Controlling your heat responsibly. Every Fall we get calls that baseboard heaters aren't working. Before calling, please check the thermostat which is either a small dial on the baseboard heater itself, or in some cases a wall thermostat has been installed. These are usually radiant electric heaters so there will be no fan blowing air out of them and they will take time to warm up. Do not crank them up and forget about them. Also please don't push furniture or bedding or paper up against them either; they use an electric heating element and covering them can be a fire hazard. Remember when they are on and adjust them slightly, bit by bit, and not all the way to 100%. Turning them down or off will also help save electricity. Sometimes, after the first cold spell, we come by to help someone move in or to clean and notice that a window is open but it's still warm inside because someone opened the window instead of turning the heaters down when it got too hot. We don't want to heat the outside. That can create a huge electric bill which neither of us will want to pay.
Changing Light Bulbs. We provide you a room with working light bulbs. Sometimes one of those light bulbs burn out. If a light bulb in your room burns out, please don't initiate a service call, it's much quicker and easier to just go and get a new one. LED bulbs are cheap now. They even sell them at the dollar store.
Washing dishes. Do you hate walking into a kitchen full of other people's dishes? So do most other people, it works both ways. To maintain harmony, please do your dishes promptly. A good rule of thumb is if you intended to do them, but someone else comes along and does them or complains about them not being done, that's the same thing as intending NOT to do them. Also it takes longer and more effort to write a note to complain to a dirty dishes offender than it does to wash the dish. Does that make sense? I actually think we're getting better on this one. Let's try to make it 100%.
Sweeping the floor. We pride ourselves on providing a clean safe place for our tenants. Help us please by picking up a broom every once in a while and sweeping the dirt off the stairs and floors. Then, instead of leaving it in piles on the floor, just use a dustpan and put the dirt in the garbage. If you need help and training on how a broom works, just ask us the next time you see us, we'll give you a live demonstration with a smile ;) . We even come by every so often and clean for you, but if you or your roommates can't look after the basic responsibilities, we might decide to cancel your free cleaning visits.
General Common sense Cleaning. If you spill it, wipe it up. If you drop it, pick it up. If you track it in, sweep it up. If your guest misses the bowl, that's your responsibility too. If you use common courtesy and respect yourself and others, you'll be fine. You deserve a super clean awesome place to live!
Shovelling snow and salting in winter. If you live in a townhouse condo, you are very lucky because the Condo Corp shovels your sidewalks and driveways. You and your roommates are still responsible for keeping the cobblestone area between the front door and the sidewalk clear. The area you and your roommates are required to clear is very small. If it is not cleared, it will be cleared for you at your expense. Here is a link to the city bylaw. We provide a shovel and salt to each unit.
*You do have some specific rules that you agreed to when you signed your lease. Check your copy of the lease agreement you signed.