Tips That All Renters Should Know: Emergencies vs. Non-Emergencies

Blog Post By Alyse Riley
September 27, 2018

During your time as a renter, you may come across some leaky pipes, clogged sinks, or lockouts. While these can be inconvenient, they may not be an emergency. Emergencies that cause large, immediate damage should include a call to maintenance and sometimes even a call to 911.

What qualifies as an emergency?

Fire

If a fire starts in your home, call 911 immediately. Once the fire department is on their way, please notify maintenance. If you don’t, the fire department will. It is best to contact us as early as possible so we can help get things back together once the fire is taken care of and everyone is safe.

Large Water Leaks

If water is pouring out of the ceiling or an overflowing toilet is flooding the room, call maintenance immediately.

During the winter when the temperature drops, there is a chance that the sprinkler lines or pipes can freeze up. Then, in the summer when they thaw, they could be cracked or damage and result in overflowing water.

Note: A non-emergency leak would be a dripping faucet or showerhead. If they are not imposing large or immediate damage to the property, they can wait until morning.

Non-Emergencies – call during work hours:

Clogged Sink or Toilet

If you find that the sink or toilet won’t drain, first try unclogging it using a plunger. If it doesn’t clear up, give maintenance a call in the morning.

Lockouts

Lockouts can be frustrating, but before you call your maintenance staff contact a locksmith first. Oftentimes, locksmiths will charge lower rates than your landlord and have more flexible hours of availability. If you can’t reach the locksmith, call maintenance and they will come to the property as soon as possible.

Power Outage

Power outages can range between both emergency and non-emergency. But before you call maintenance, check to see if you have any messages from MidAmerican Energy regarding a local power outage. If you haven’t received notification, look to see if there are any:

If all nearby lights are out, the problem is likely a neighborhood outage and should be back-on once the local utility company can respond. If your unit is the only one without power or you haven’t been notified for a couple hours, go ahead and call MidAmerican Energy. If they ask you to reset the breaker, most breaker panels can be found down in the basement. Once you’ve found the panel, go through and look to see if one of the switches is flipped the wrong way. Flip it the correct way to turn the breaker back on. Once your electricity returns, check your electronics and make sure that you don’t have any frayed or burnt wires because something caused the breaker to trip initially.

It is important to note that anything that is causing immediate damage to a property is reason to call maintenance. But if a non-emergency situation arises, waiting until maintenance hours to call can save you an extra fee. It may even be something you can try fixing yourself. If you have questions regarding emergency situations, contact us!