Are you having a Maintenance Emergency at your home managed by The Elliott & Eijo Real Estate Group?
Sometimes a maintenance emergency is obvious – your heater has gone out in your rental home and the temperature outside is 35 degrees. Before you pick up the phone to call our after-hours maintenance emergency line, there are some things you should consider. Is this truly an emergency? Can the situation wait until the next business day without causing harm to me or the property?
Here are some guidelines that will help you decide when to make that call.
• My air conditioning is not cooling. This is perhaps the most frequent emergency call made. Temps outside are reaching near or over 100 degrees. With the high humidity contributing to already high temps, most air conditioning systems simply cannot cool to the temperature we often would like them to. Expecting the system to cool your home to 68 degrees when it is 98 outside, is expecting the impossible. During the day, the thermostat should be set at 76-78 degrees. During the evening and overnight, turn it down to 72 and allow the home to cool down a bit more while there is less pull on the system. This will also save you a few pennies every month. If you have the system set at an appropriate temperature and your thermostat is still reading 5 degrees or more over that, there could be an issue. Call the maintenance department when you first notice the problem, and a weekend call is okay. However, asking for service after 8 p.m. may result in the repair being done the next day.
• My air conditioner is leaking. This is one call that preventive maintenance will prevent in most cases. Keep the filter clean by changing it at least once a month and also keep the drain lines clear. Pour a cup of bleach into the drain lines once a month and use your shop vac or air compressor to clear the lines periodically. If you do notice a leak after hours, try to locate the leak and place a bucket under it to catch the water and call maintenance the next day. If you cannot locate the leak and/or there is a significant amount of water soaking into a carpeted area, call it in immediately.
• The toilet is backing up and won’t flush. First you should grab your plunger and try to resolve the issue yourself. Most plumbing clogs are a tenant responsibility, so taking action before calling maintenance could result in saving you money in the end. If the toilet has not overflowed, turn off the valve to that particular toilet and if you have another toilet you can use that one, making that 3 a.m. call is not a good idea. If the toilet has overflowed and flooded the home significantly, first turn off the toilet at the shut off valve and then call maintenance.
• I have a plumbing leak. A leak is an important issue to resolve quickly. Not only does it result in higher water bills, there can often be secondary damage to the property. If a faucet has a slow drip, this is not an emergency and can be resolved during business hours. Most faucets have a shut off valve that is accessible under the sink. If a pipe bursts and/or there is flooding in the property, this should be called in immediately.
• Sparks are shooting out of an outlet when I plug something in. While this type of electrical issue shouldn’t be ignored, it does not always mean you need to call the emergency line after hours. Turning off the breaker associated with the outlet along with unplugging any items currently plugged in, will take care of the issue until the next business day. If you see smoke or flames, you should call 911 first and then call the emergency line.
• My refrigerator is not cooling or my oven isn’t working. When you are cooking a big meal or fill your refrigerator with a week’s worth of groceries, it can become frustrating to have these appliances fail. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything that can be done outside of business hours. A repair to these appliances often requires parts that are not readily available after hours or on the weekend. You should place the work order with the maintenance department as soon as you recognize the problem during normal business hours.
• I have locked myself out of my home. If this happens during business hours, we will be more than happy to check out a key to you. However, after hours and on weekends or holidays, you will need to call a locksmith.
• My roof is leaking. This is an emergency; however, a repair cannot be completed until it stops raining. If you discover a leak after hours, put a bucket under the drip, and wait until the next day to place a call to maintenance.
Here are The Elliott & Eijo Real Estate Groups basic guidelines as to what constitutes a maintenance emergency and when to call the emergency maintenance line.
• Fire: Call the Fire Department immediately. Follow up with a call to us.
• Heater Repair: If the outside temperature is below 40 degrees. Call as soon as you notice.
• Pipe Broken: Please turn off water valve to pipe or exterior water main and then call. Keep the water turned off until contractor arrives.
• Broken Doorknob, Lock or Window: Only if it prevents you from properly securing the unit. If temporary measures can be taken until regular business hours, you should wait until regular business hours before contacting Elliott & Eijo.
• No Hot Water: Only if there is absolutely no hot water and it is between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Monday – Friday. If there is no hot water at any other time, use temporary measures.
• No Electricity: Only if there is not electricity and 1.) The electric company has been contacted and you found that you were not at fault. 2.) After all the breakers have been checked by flipping them ALL hard to the OFF position and then back on and reset all GFI circuits in the house. Partial outages do not result in an emergency! If a wall switch or outlet begins to smoke or smell remove all plugs and turn off switch. If necessary, call the fire department.
These are the basic calls that may constitute an emergency. If you have a situation other than these, which seems immediately hazardous, damaging or detrimental, please call and text us. If it is after hours call & text the emergency maintenance number. Remember all service requests can be submitted 24/7 online through tenant portals.