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Tenant Emergency Request Guide

by hemlane

This is a guide to determine whether a maintenance and repair request submitted by a tenant is considered urgent. In the event that there is imminent danger to your health or safety (life threatening emergencies such as a fire, gas leak, or CO2 alarm), exit the property and dial 911 immediately.


Emergency Requests


Water Leak

When there is any flooding or constant water flow that cannot be stopped by turning off water for the entire home.
Some examples include: roofs, sinks, toilets, and HVAC. While you wait for assistance:

  1. Turn off the water source, which is either the line to the broken pipe or the main water supply line.
  2. Put a bucket underneath any water pipe that may be dripping water.
  3. Unplug any electronics in close proximity
  4. Mop up any water that may be on the floor or causing damage.
  5. Point fans towards any water that you cannot remove (e.g. in carpet or cracks).
  6. Take photos in the event an insurance claim needs to be filed.

Please make sure to check the troubleshooting guide for plumbing before considering this an emergency. A landlord/manager will charge back if this can be fixed through one of these steps.


Water Heater

When the heater has burst.

  1. Turn of the water - There is usually a blue knob or lever on the pipe leading from the wall to the water heater. Turn this clockwise to turn the water off.
  2. Turn of the power - You may either turn the water heater off (there is usually a power switch at the base) or flip the breaker to the off position at the main power supply.
  3. The technician will drain your water heater when they arrive but if your tank is leaking heavily, you may want to drain it prior to the technician arriving to prevent damage. Please follow the directions below to drain your heater:
  4. Hook a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and run it outside on the ground. Make sure you drain the tank to a proper location such as a gutter drain or sink. Do not drain the water onto your lawn or driveway as sediment and rust from the tank can harm your grass or stain your driveway.
  5. Open the drain valve where the hose is attached.
  6. Open the pressure relief valve on top of the tank by pulling up on it.
  7. Allow the water in the tank to drain out.

Heating

When it is below 45 degrees farenheit outside. (55 degrees farenheit if young children, elderly, or sick people live in the home.)
Tenants are requested to troubleshoot through the below steps before a service professional is initiated:

  1. Confirm the thermostat is turned on
  2. Confirm the thermostat has batteries
  3. Check the circuit breakers and GFCI
  4. Checked and cleaned the filter
  5. Confirm whether the heater is blowing cold air or no air at all
  6. No heat exists anywhere in the home
  7. Temperature will remain below emergency threshold for the next 4 hours

Please make sure that your maintenance request includes a photo uploaded of your thermostat reading as well. If you are not at the legal limits and its during the weekend, then we recommend purchasing a portable heater until a weekday scheduled appointment.


Air Conditioning

When it is above 95 degrees farenheit outside (85 degrees farenheit if young children, elderly, or sick people live in the home.)
Tenants are requested to troubleshoot through the below steps before a service professional is initiated:

  1. Confirm the thermostat is turned on
  2. Confirm the thermostat has batteries
  3. Check the circuit breakers and GFCI
  4. Checked and cleaned the filter
  5. Confirm whether the heater is blowing warm air or no air at all
  6. No A/C exists anywhere in the home
  7. Verified the "feels like" temperature using Google weather for the city/state.
  8. Temperature will remain above emergency threshold for the next 4 hours
  9. If after business hours: Issue can be deferred until the morning as long as thetemperature is cooling to below the limit within the next 4 hours.

Please make sure that your maintenance request includes a photo uploaded of your thermostat reading as well. If you are not at the legal limits and its during the weekend, then we recommend purchasing a fan or small AC unit until a weekday scheduled appointment.


Toilet Not Working

Only an emergency when there is just one toilet in the home or all toilets are not functioning.
Please make sure to check the troubleshooting guide for plumbing before considering this an emergency. A landlord/manager will charge back if this can be fixed through one of these steps.


No Water

Please make sure to call your local water company first to confirm if there is any work being done in the area or any issues with the account


Electricity Outage

Only an emergency after you have confirmed with the electric company that there is no outage on the grid and you have flipped the breaker to the home. For more electrical troubleshooting, please read our guide here.


Burning or Melting Outlet

When you see or smell an electrical outlet burning or melting.
Unplug anything that may be plugged into the outlet immediately
Additional recommendation: Turn off the breaker.


Gas Smell

When you smell gas or your carbon monoxide detector sounds.
Exit the property to a safe distance and dial 911.


Fire

Exit the premises safely.
Exit the property to a safe distance and dial 911.


Lockouts

While this is an emergency, most Owners consider this tenant responsibility (meaning the tenant has to pay for a locksmith to come out) unless it is caused by a malfunction of the lock. Lost or misplaced keys are usually not covered issues.


Non-emergency Requests


No Hot Water

No water is urgent but no hot water is not unless it has been more than 2 days without hot water.


Toilet Backup

Only urgent when the entire plumbing drain system is stopped (all sinks and drains). Please see above and also review troubleshooting tips here.


Noise Complaints

Can be dealt with by reviewing the local noise ordinaces near you and by calling 911. If you are in a larger complex where there is an onsite manager and all units are owned by one company, then you will want to notify the onsite manager.


Assigned Parking Spaces

Not considered an emergency.


Disclaimer: This is intended to help determine whether or not the request is urgent. These are general guidelines from what we have experienced to be high priority emergency requests with a rental, however Hemlane is not liable for any inaccuracies that may arise as a result of extraneous circumstances. In the event of a true emergency make sure to safely exit the premises and dial 911.