Generally any expenses in connection with rental property are deductible on the schedule E - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040se.pdf - please be aware that this is 2007 form just for illustration - 2008 forms are not available yet.
Repair expenses are reported on the line 14 part I. Your expenses should be classified as what they are paid - repair, maintenance, supplies, etc - see type of expenses on lines 5-18
If some of these expenses are improvement expenses - they should be added to the basis of the property as a capital expenses and depreciated the save way as you depreciate the rental property (27.5 years).
Please see some examples in the IRS publication 523 - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p523.pdf page 9 - which expenses may be considered as repairs and which should be classified as improvements and added to the basis of the property.
If you deduct the money that you consider as "ripoffs" and later recover all or some of these funds - recoveries will be taxable income in that year.