What Is Considered Emergency Maintenance in an Apartment?

Plumber Fixing Sink In KitchenIt’s one of a renter’s worst nightmares: you come home from work to find your carpet soaked and a burst pipe gushing underneath your bathroom sink. You don’t have the tools or expertise to fix it yourself… so what’s a renter to do? When there’s no time to waste and you need apartment maintenance, it’s good to know what you can do right away.

The answer will vary by apartment community, but here are 5 of the most common services that are considered emergency maintenance.

1. Major water leaks

There are 2 types of water leaks: those that can wait, and those that can’t. If the leak can be contained in a bucket until a maintenance person is available, it probably isn’t considered an emergency. (Small leaks underneath a kitchen sink, for example, can likely wait.) A gushing broken pipe, on the other hand, is most definitely worth a call to management.

2. Absence of air conditioning

When the A/C goes out, it can be an inconvenience at best. But if you’re stuck in the middle of a scalding summer, life without air conditioning can take a turn from uncomfortable to unbearable. If it’s over 90 degrees outside, a broken A/C is considered an apartment maintenance emergency, so go ahead and make the call. In the meantime, open some windows, get out that box fan, and be sure to hydrate!

3. Crisis in the cold

Conversely, when the heat goes out in the winter, severe shivering can be serious business. If it’s below 50 degrees outside and your apartment heat isn’t working, bundle up and give emergency maintenance a call.

4. A perilous potential gas leak

If you suspect there is a gas leak in your apartment, call maintenance ASAP. Gas is easily ignited, and is poisonous if inhaled in large amounts, so it’s important to act immediately. You’ll know there’s a natural gas leak from its telltale rotten egg smell. Be sure to turn off the malfunctioning appliance and its gas supply line, then leave your apartment until repairs can be made.

5. Power’s out!

Any major electrical failure, be it inside your apartment or in lighted outdoor areas, is considered an emergency. Before you contact maintenance, however, be sure you’ve tried resetting the circuit breakers, resetting the GFI breakers on your outlets, and you’ve checked any fuses that might be burned out.

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