At Peake Management, our knowledgeable property managers are ready and willing to help with your maintenance concerns (urgent or otherwise) Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. But what about issues that pop up at 5:02 pm on a Friday? Luckily, Peake is equipped with an after-hours emergency service line for just that situation! But…not so fast…the emergency line is for select service calls.
Not sure how to tell if your issue would fall into the “select” service calls category?
Ask yourself this: will there be an increasing and imminent danger to yourself or the property if you do not get someone out to address the issue? If you answered “yes”, then you should call the emergency line without delay! If you answered “no”, then it can likely wait until the next business day. In true emergencies, please contact the proper authorities.
Let’s explore some examples of emergency vs. non-emergency…
No Heat – Call Emergency Line
If you have no heat and it is below freezing, you should call the emergency line. In this case, we do not want you to be left vulnerable to the frigid temperatures.
We also don’t want to see the pipes freeze causing an even bigger problem for both you and the landlord.
Some trouble shooting tips: Check that none of your breakers have tripped. Are the batteries in your thermostat low? Have you changed your furnace filter recently?
No A/C – It Depends
If the DC area is in the middle of a heat wave or it is a hot day, and your ac goes out, you should call the emergency line as it can pose a threat to your health. However, if it is 70 or 75 degrees out, that can wait until the following business day. It may be annoying to you but it does not pose a threat to your health.
It’s always good to keep fans in your house even with central ac so that you can utilize them in situations like this.
Dishwasher Broken – Not an Emergency
For the modern renter, life without a dishwasher is almost unthinkable. Our lives are so jam packed with work, responsibilities, socializing, activities, family time, etc. that we couldn’t imagine carving out the time to tediously wash our dishes by hand each day. And why should we!? There’s a dishwasher for that! But sometimes the dishwasher quits on us and, while it’s super annoying, it typically does not warrant an emergency call. Call and leave a message for your property manager to get back to you on the next business day.
Exception: You SHOULD call the emergency line if a leak from your dishwasher has caused a leak into a condo unit below yours or if there is a leak from the dishwasher that you cannot control. If you smell a burning smell, you should make a judgement on if you should contact the proper authorities or if discontinuing use will alleviate the issue.
Leaking Roof or Flood – Call Emergency Line
If you have water coming into the home from outside, you should absolutely contact the emergency line. Even if the water intrusion stops before a contractor is able to get there to address the issue, it is important to ensure the incident is on the record and that remediation is done to prevent further damage.
Even small leaks need urgent attention to prevent mold growth in the drywall, under carpets, etc. If you have water actively entering your home, do what you can to help while you wait for a contractor to arrive. Put a bucket under a dripping ceiling (emptying as necessary) and use towels to sop up small amounts of ground water. If you have a wet vac for a major flood, use it!
Toilet Issues – Not an Emergency
Clogged toilets, running toilets; these are your standard toilet issues and neither of them warrants a call to the emergency line. In fact a clogged toilet is almost
always a tenant responsibility anyway. Running toilets are obnoxious but not cause for concern and can be addressed on the next business day.
Exception: If your toilet has caused a leak that is visible on the ceiling below (typically the work of a failed wax ring), then you should call the emergency line to have the leak addressed.
Broken Washer or Dryer – Not an Emergency
This is very similar to the dishwasher bit. Yes, it’s horribly annoying to not be able to wash your clothes but it is not an emergency; even if you have a
full weekend ahead of you. Call and leave a message for your property manager to get back to you on the next business day.
Exception: If a leak has caused significant damage, you should call the emergency line to have the leak addressed and prevent further damage to the walls or flooring.
Note: all examples are for AFTER HOURS calls. If you have a maintenance concern at a Peake managed home within regular business hours, you should contact our office directly.
Have some other instances that you are still not sure about? Run them by us! We’re happy to help you determine if your issue would be considered an “after hours emergency call”.
By Nicole Campana for Peake Management