Category Archives: Tenant Resources

No Water? Here’s What to Do

In the city of Ithaca, the water is shut off in specific areas if the city needs to work on the pipes. If you are in the city and there’s no water running in your kitchen and bathroom:
  1. Text your name, address and apt number to 607-261-1949. Write what faucets are not working in your apt (kitchen, bathroom, etc)
  2. Walk outside and see if you see a crew of workers working on the pipes anywhere in the street. If you do, you can ask them how long the water will be off.
  3. Ask others in your house and/or neighbors if they have any water.
  4. If it’s 8am-3:30pm you can call Streets and Facilities for the City of Ithaca (607-272-1718) to see if they are doing work on the water on your street. The Water and Sewer Division (607-272-1717) can be hard to get on the phone, but they may have an after hours option for emergencies.
  5. If the city has not shut off the water, text your name, address and apt number to Mike at 607-331-5005. Write what faucets are not working in your apt (kitchen, bathroom, etc)
** If you live outside of the city of Ithaca and have well water, text Mike immediately 607-331-5005. Pipes may be frozen or the well pump may need help.
***If you live in the town of Dryden, call the Dryden Department of Public Works (607) 844-8888 option 5 during their business hours. You can also knock on your neighbors’ doors to see if they have water. If other houses and apts have water, text Mike immediately 607-331-5005.

Locked Out? Here’s What You Do

Locked out?

If you know where your key is, please go back and get it. If you have a housemate, call them to see when they’ll be home to let you in. Unfortunately our staff is not available to unlock your door 24/7. Ace Security is on call 24/7, and you can reach them at 607-273-8840. They will charge you at least $65 to unlock your door, and you will need to pay them immediately via credit card, cash or check.

Prevent future lockouts. Make a copy of your key(s) and hide it unlabeled in a place no one else will find it near your apt. Make a note of where you hid them so you don’t forget. Set it up as a contact in your phone, etc. Agway, Home Depot, Lowes, and The Commons Market are some places that copy keys.

 

How to Submit a Non-Urgent Repair Request and Who to Contact for Urgent Requests

For non-urgent repair requests:

  1. Log into your Rentec account
  2. Click on “repairs” on top menu bar
  3. Click “Report an issue”
  4. Write the short description (informative title for the repair person)
  5. Write the detailed description with clear info on the exact location of issue, how long it has been an issue, any steps you have taken to resolve the issue, etc.
  6. Attach photos if they will be helpful to the repair person who comes to your apt

Non-urgent requests are NOT safety hazards and will NOT cause damage if they are fixed in a couple days. Examples of non-urgent requests include flickering lights, doors that are hard to close, a faucet that is dripping a little, and loss of electricity in one outlet (check the “Good to Know” page you were sent in case there is info on resetting the circuit for your apt).

Urgent requests ARE safety hazards and/or will cause damage if not addressed within a couple hours. Examples of urgent requests include no heat during the heating season, an exterior door that will not lock, and a leak or overflow that is causing damage.

Always call the fire department or police or 911 first if there is a serious issue that they address.

For urgent repair requests and/or concerns, call and text Mike Ernest at 607-331-5005. Tell him your name, address and apt number as well as the issue. He will NOT have your phone number saved in his phone.

PLEASE NOTE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN URGENT AND NON-URGENT CONCERNS ABOVE.

Locked out? If you know where your key is, please go back and get it. If you have a housemate, call them to see when they’ll be home to let you in. Unfortunately our staff is not available to unlock your door 24/7. Ace Security is on call 24/7, and you can reach them at 607-273-8840. They will charge you at least $65 to unlock your door.

Prevent lockouts. Make a copy of your key(s) and hide it unlabeled in a place no one else will find it near your apt. Make a note of where you hid them so you don’t forget. Set it up as a contact in your phone, etc. Agway, Home Depot, Lowes, and The Commons Market are some places that copy keys.

Clogged toilet? Don’t flush! It will overflow and potentially cause 100s of dollars of damage. Watch this video and use a plunger first. And please do not use chemicals to unclog drains. If you put wipes or something other than toilet paper or human waste in the toilet, that is probably the issue. And it’s time to stop doing that. Text Mike if the toilet is not usable.

Chirping smoke detector or CO2 detector? Please put a new battery in it unless it says “10 year alarm” on it. If the beeping continues, submit a request to have the alarm replaced. Please do not disable and ignore it and go without a smoke detector or CO2 detector. That is not safe. More info here: https://truerenewhomes.com/detector-chirping-or-beeping/

Light went out? Turn off the switch and put a new lightbulb in. If that does not work, submit a request for us to trouble shoot the light fixture.

Multiple lights or outlets went out? You probably overloaded the circuit. Notice what you had using electricity simultaneously when it happened. Go to the “Good to Know” page for your house and see if there are instructions on resetting the circuit breaker. If your fridge is on that circuit, it is urgent. If the repair can wait a couple days, submit a repair request.

No electricity in the whole house? It’s probably a NYSEG outage: 1-800-572-1111

No water in the whole house? It may be city maintenance. This is often during regular business hours. You can check: 607-272-1718

Smell gas? It may be another building nearby. Call NYSEG gas emergency to see if it has already been reported: 1-800-572-1121 and let maintenance know too.

 

Want a space heater or air conditioner or other additional small appliance?

Want a space heater? Air conditioner?

Please email the property manager before you buy a space heater or air conditioner.

All space heaters need to be approved before you use them for safety reasons. There are a lot of unsafe space heaters that can potentially cause fire.

Space heaters, air conditioners and additional refrigerators require a significant amount of energy to operate.

If utilities are included in your rent this needs to be negotiated before you use an additional appliance:

  1. There will be a flat rate of $35/month per approved unit. This charge will be added to your Rentec upon the approval of your additional small appliance.
  2. Email True Renew Homes the commitment below.

If utilities are NOT included in your rent:

  1. We suggest getting an Electricity Usage Monitor Plug to monitor how much your additional appliance adds to your monthly electric cost.
  2. Email True Renew Homes the commitment below.

 

For all tenants regardless of whether you pay your utilities or they are included in your rent: 

  1. Email True Renew Homes this commitment: If using this appliance trips the circuit 2 times, I will stop using the appliance because the electrical draw is too much for the house. I do not want to cause electrical issues or a fire.
  2. For window AC units add this to your commitment: I will turn the AC off when outside temps are comfortable and also whenever people are out of the apartment. I will not leave this appliance running while I am out of the apartment. I will not cause and damage while installing or uninstalling the unit, and when temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit I will safely remove the unit and close the windows in my apartment.
  3. For space heaters, add this to your commitment: I will turn this additional appliance off when outside temps are comfortable and also whenever people are out of the apartment. I will not leave this appliance running while I am out of the apartment. I will keep the space heater far from curtains, bedding, clothing, towels, etc and will do everything I can to use it safely and prevent fire including turning it off whenever I am out of the room where it is being used for more than 15 minutes.

 

Microwaves, toasters, blenders, coffee makers, irons and hair dryers are fine if they are used safely.

The wiring in your house might not be able to safely handle such a big electrical draw. And window unit air conditioners can damage windows if installed and uninstalled improperly, and they let heat leak out of they are not removed during the heating season.

Here is the agreement in the lease:

Other ideas?

Rather than getting a space heater, protect yourself from the cold.

Use a fan when it is hot out. Most local people in Ithaca live without air conditioning. You may be coming from a place where air conditioning is used by the majority of the people there. In Ithaca, this is not the case. And go swimming! Ithaca is water rich.

 

How to Access Your Tenant Portal in Rentec

We hope using your Tenant Portal in Rentec makes it easy to pay rent online and making repair requests!

You will receive an email from notices@rentecdirect.com which will give you instructions for logging into your Tenant Portal.

You can also access your tenant portal with your login credentials by visiting www.rentecdirect.com/tenants.

How to Pay Rent Online:

1. Log into your Tenant Portal
2. Click the Payments tab
3. Click “Enter Account Information”
4. You will be prompted to enter your bank routing number and account number. Once your bank information is saved, you can make a one-time payment or schedule recurring monthly rent payments.

You also have the option to pay by credit card for an addition fee of 3% per transaction. You will save money if you pay rent with your bank account and not your credit card. We just wanted to have this option available in case you need it.

The words “Account Overdue” may appear in your Rentec account and they may be emailed to you before your rent is actually due. We’re sorry about this! It is a glitch we are working on fixing.

If you cannot see the full amount owed on your first screen after you log into Rentec, then click the statements tab, and choose “This Year” from the drop down menu.

Want the app so it’s easy to pay rent on your phone? Search your app store for “Resident Connect by Rentec Direct” and download the app so you can access your Tenant Portal easily on your phone.

What to Do if There’s a Bat in Your House

https://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/health/rabies#bats

Make sure your window screen are snug. Bats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter.

That’s right. A quarter. Now I will never look at window screens the same way again.

I called our exterminator, and then the local county health department. And to my surprise I was told to encourage my tenant to catch the bat if she sees it again so they can test it for rabies. Wear gloves!

If you wake up with the bat in the room and you don’t catch it, you need rabies shots. If you catch the bat and it doesn’t have rabies, you don’t need shots. 

Rabies shots are not as extensive and painful as they used to be, but they are still quite involved. If you do catch the bat and submit it to the Health Dept, they can test the bat for rabies and most likely you will not need to get any shots. This is better.

And they referred me to this great video:

If there is a bat flying in the room where you are sleeping, keep the light off and sneak out your door.
How to catch a bat in your house:
  1. Get a container with a lid and a piece of heavy paper or cardboard.
  2. Use gloves if you have them.
  3. Be calm and do not get ready to attack. You are simply placing the container over the bat. Not chasing it.
  4. Enter the room quickly and close the door so the bat does not get out.
  5. If it’s night time, turn on the light. The bat should stop moving because they can’t see in the light.
  6. Slowly walk over to the bat with the container to the bat, place it over the bat, put the cardboard underneath so you can turn the container upright, and either tape the cardboard to the top or put the top on.
The Health Department staff said it’s not difficult to catch a bat, because  bats won’t escape from  a container quickly like bugs or birds. Here are some more instructions on what to do when you have a bat in your house. 
Some other bat information:
  • May is the beginning of bat season. There had not yet been any reports of bats with rabies.
  • Last year there were 3 bats with rabies caught in our county
  • Bats are looking for places to nest in May
  • The females will have babies in the summer, and then there will be more bat sightings in August when the babies are mobile