Originally Posted by funetical
but then the woman told me I had to attempt to let them get it done, then I could do that, but that she strongly discouraged tenants fixing their own issues. I just shrugged my shoulders.
Sorry, but I'm going to have to side with the nice lady on this one, Funetical.
The problem is that tenants don't know enough about how I maintain my building to know when they're creating a disaster.
For example, I've had tenants repaint my bathrooms because they didn't like the cream colour I use. Well, I use Zinsser's PermaWhite Bathroom Paint that has mildewcides in it. When the tenant paints over that with his non-mildew resistant paint, it creates a problem for me because I know that I have to either remove the tenant's paint (by scraping) or paint over the tenant's paint to restore the mildew resistance.
Another example: I maintain the finish on my vinyl composition floor tiles using something called the "Scrub & Recoat Method". Basically, that involves using my floor machine to scrub off the dirty surface layer of floor finish with an agressive nylon pad, and then mop on new floor finish to replace what was scrubbed off. But, I've had tenants decide that they're going to do a "really good job" of cleaning their apartment, so after they "clean" the floor they mop floor finish onto it. They might think they cleaned the floor well, but there's no way they could have removed the dirt that's imbedded in the surface of the floor finish. The only way to remove that is to scrub off that dirty surface layer. So, by mopping new finish onto their floor, they're just burying the dirt under floor finish, making it harder for me to remove it.
There's a common misconception that you can wreck a self cleaning oven by using oven cleaner on it. So I remember one tenant's father that tried to clean the baked on grease off the oven in his daughter's apartment using a paint scraper and a sharp wood chisel! (In my building I have self cleaning ranges, but I disabled the self cleaning feature because one tenant's 14 year old son used it in an attempt to cremate his dead budgie. I tell every tenant that if they want to self clean their oven, to tell me and I will enable that feature, start the cycle and disable it again after they've wiped the ash out of the oven.) Well, the tenant's father didn't know that. He only knew it was supposed to be a self cleaning oven, but he couldn't get the self clean feature to work. So, he figured he'd get that oven clean one way or another by scraping the black stuff off. I was glad he was at least careful enough not to have chipped the ceramic coating inside the oven with those tools. Once the underlying steel is exposed, it'll rust like crazy every time the oven gets hot, and then I'd have a real big job replacing the oven in that stove.
And there are all kinds of examples of things tenants can do with the best of intentions that can create problems for the landlord. That's why it's always best to let the landlord or the agency handle it. I fully recognize that sometimes it can take forever for them to get around to doing anything, but you can see from the painting and floor finish examples how easy it is to cause a major problem, even when you're trying to help.
PS: If you ever need to abort a self clean cycle on a stove, pull the stove's fuse holder, or trip the breakers. Take the back panel off the stove and remove and insulate the terminals that go to the bake and broil elements. Put the fuse holder back in or flip the breakers back on and let the stove complete the self clean cycle trying to get hot.