What do you do when a tenant calls after hours and there’s an emergency? First, you want to find out if it’s really an emergency or if it’s something that can wait until normal business hours. At ES Property Management, we have a process for determining what needs immediate attention and what can wait. Hopefully, this landlord advice will help you spot an emergency at your rental home.
Weather-Related EmergenciesIf there’s a problem with the temperature, we consider it a maintenance emergency. Our weather is extreme in Indiana, so if a tenant calls in the winter and says it’s dropped to 50 degrees in the house, we will send out emergency HVAC people to handle that because we want to keep the space habitable for our tenants.
Plumbing and Gas EmergenciesAnother issue is plumbing. If there are two bathrooms in the house and one isn’t working, that’s not really an emergency because the tenants still have a place to go to the bathroom. But, if both bathrooms aren’t working or if it’s a one-bathroom property and the toilet isn’t working, that’s an emergency and we must take care of it right away.
If there’s a gas smell, it’s an automatic emergency, and we’ll send out a plumber and perhaps call the utility company to get the gas shut off. If there’s a fire, that’s obviously an emergency. Tenants know to call 9-1-1 before they call us when there’s a fire, and we’ll meet the emergency responders at the property.
Flooding is an emergency. I recently got a call from a tenant because there was water everywhere in the downstairs. The tenant had showered upstairs and suddenly had a flood downstairs. We have to handle that right away. The plumber was called and we met them there to figure out the problem. It turned out to be the sewer line, and we needed to know if it was a problem within the home or if someone had stuck something down a toilet to cause the problem. It turned out to be along those lines, and the plumbing was immediately repaired. The next day, the remediation company was called to remove the flooring and the drywall. When sewer water is involved, these steps are necessary. The insurance company was notified, and this is a great example of why we require renter’s insurance.
Emergencies do happen, and you want to be prepared. Have emergency plumbers and HVAC contractors on hand so you can get issues resolved quickly. If you have any questions about rental property maintenance or anything pertaining to property management in Indianapolis, please contact us at ES Property Management.