If you’ve ever rented a home, an apartment or townhouse etc., you’ve probably had occasion to contact the Landlord or Property Manager when something goes wrong. There are those normal maintenance items, but what is considered a true emergency when you are renting a home? Read further for tenant emergency tips and the reasons to call your Property Manager or Landlord.
Tenant’s – is that really an emergency?
My kitchen light is burnt out! Well, first of all, Tenants are usually responsible for replacing light bulbs or fluorescent tubes when they burn out. So try that first. If the new bulb doesn’t work, check your breaker panel to see if you’ve tripped a breaker.
Tip: be sure to turn the breaker all the way off and then all the way back on because sometimes they don’t appear to be tripped, but they are. If that still doesn’t work, then you should contact your landlord about getting a repairman to check for other issues.
Tenant emergency tips
My tap is dripping. If a faucet develops a drip or the toilet is running, let the landlord know. It’s not an emergency, so unless the home is getting flooded, service can be arranged during business hours, generally within a couple of days. Alternately, if a leak develops in the pipes under a sink and water is leaking everywhere, that’s an emergency. Shut the water off if the shut off valve is nearby and notify your Landlord immediately.
Tip: If it is a serious leak and there is no evident shut off valve to the leaking pipe, you may need to turn off the main water line until the landlord can have a plumber attend. Often times the main water shut off is located near the hot water tank or in the basement area on an exterior wall where the water pipes come into the house.
Anytime you experience a strong smell of gas it’s an emergency, particularly if it doesn’t dissipate within a few minutes. First, evacuate the building and then call the gas company right away to report the gas smell. Or if you prefer, call 911. In any event, get out of the house first! The gas company or the fire department will shut off the gas and try to determine the source.
Tip: If there are other people in the property (neighbors, other tenants etc.), let them know as well. Lastly, once everyone is safely outside, call your Landlord to advise them of the problem.
An emergency can generally be defined as something that may cause damage or loss to people or property. If there’s a fire, call 911 before you call anyone else.
Tip: 911 has a fire truck with fire hoses and a whole bunch of firemen who know what they are doing. Your Landlord does not, so call the landlord after you know everyone is safe and the emergency has been reported to 911.
A good rule of thumb
If it’s a minor inconvenience and can wait until tomorrow, it’s probably not an emergency. If it has the potential to ruin the house or your belongings, it’s probably an emergency.
Tip: Common sense is often a good gauge for determining what’s a true emergency, so don’t be scared to use some.
Landlords looking for a Property Management team that will mitigate issues like mentioned above should contact us for more information on how we can care for your property and tenant emergency
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