Survey: Tenants Try to Fix Problems in Their Apartments Without Telling Management


New research shows “an alarming 100 percent of tenants who respondents have tried to fix a problem in their apartment instead of contacting management,” according to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. residents conducted by Entrata and ButterflyMX.

Damage to an apartment is something tenants are reluctant to let management know about, according to the survey. More than a quarter of renters (28 percent) never tell property management about the damage they cause to their apartment. Another 21 percent delay reporting damage for a week or more.

Mechanical issues in an apartment result in a different tenants responses

However, nearly 80 percent of residents will report damage caused by mechanical failure or normal wear and tear within three days.

The reasons renters hesitate to report damage vary, including:

  • They try to fix it themselves.
  • They are too busy and it’s not a priority.
  • They don’t trust management’s ability to fix it quickly or well enough.
  • They don’t want to have to pay for the damage.
  • They are embarrassed to report the damage.
  • They don’t want the manager or maintenance personnel to enter their apartments.
  • Communicating the problem to their property is too much trouble.
  • They can’t afford to pay for the damage.

Tenants Try to Fix Problems in Their Apartments Without Telling Management

Tenants are reluctant to report awkward situations

What is the most awkward situation tenants are reluctant to report?

Here is what tenants say:

Tenants Try to Fix Problems in Their Apartments Without Telling Management

Tenants are concerned about the security of their package deliveries

In a world where more people rely on package deliveries than ever, 89 percent of apartment residents are concerned about packages being stolen from their doorstep.

Nearly half (48 percent) of residents report having mail or packages either incorrectly delivered, not delivered, or stolen.

Of renters who have experienced package-delivery issues:

  • 75% – packages never delivered despite multiple attempts
  • 71% – packages delivered to the wrong apartment unit multiple times
  • 41% – packages stolen off the doorstep multiple times
  • 41% – package-delivery issues ruined a Christmas or other surprise

The survey says 25 percent of renters won’t inform the apartment office of these issues because they don’t trust them to solve the problem.

What the survey says about communication preferences

Most residents are able to communicate with their property manager via phone (82 percent), in person (70 percent) and email (48 percent).

But when it comes to alternative forms of communication, less than 30 percent of residents report being able to communicate via text message (29 percent), the apartment community website (26 percent) or an app (6 percent).

Those who are able to use an app to communicate with management report convenience and efficiency as the top reasons for using the app.

Allowing residents to communicate via an app or website can free up leasing office staff, making them available for in-person experiences and giving them the bandwidth to build real relationships with residents, the survey says.


Generated by Entrata and ButterflyMX and fielded in March 2019, the survey collected online responses via Qualtrics from 1,054 U.S. consumers who are over the age of 18 and rent an apartment.

Related story:

Dear Landlord Hank: My Tenant Wants To Repaint His Unit – What Should I Do?

Tenants Try to Fix Problems in Their Apartments Without Telling Management

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