Read below to find out what to do when repairs are needed.
What you should do in case of an emergency depends on the type of emergency that you experience, the danger to yourself or the apartment, the terms of your lease and the availability of your landlord or landlord's agent. The following information is provided as a general guideline only.
If the emergency endangers your health or life, for example, a fire or gas leak, you should immediately evacuate the area and call emergency services at 911 or the relevant utility service emergency number. You can telephone the landlord to advise of the situation once you are safe and the appropriate authority has been contacted.
If the emergency does not endanger your health or life, for example, a severe leak or a plumbing problem that could flood the apartment, follow the instructions in your lease for such emergency situations. If the lease does not indicate what action you should take, you should promptly telephone the landlord or the landlord's agent to ask for direction on what to do. It is very important that you obtain emergency contact information for the landlord or landlord's agent at the time of signing the lease. If, after reasonable efforts, you cannot locate the landlord or landlord's agent and the problem is likely to cause significant damage to the apartment, you should contact a licensed independent contractor to fix the problem and prevent damage to the apartment. Whether you are justified in engaging an independent contractor is highly dependent on the facts of your circumstance, including the severity of the damage likely to be caused.
Keep records of your attempts to contact the landlord or landlord's agent. You should email the landlord or landlord's agent outlining the problem, the times at which you telephoned requesting assistance, and your intended action. Photographs of the problem may also assist you in proving the extent of the emergency, if this is later required.
Before contacting the landlord or landlord's agent and engaging an independent contractor you should consider whether the problem is a true emergency, especially if you discover the problem after normal business hours. As a general guideline, emergency action is only required if the problem imminently threatens your health or life, or is likely to cause significant damage to the apartment or your possessions. The landlord is highly unlikely to agree to reimburse you for the costs of engaging an independent contractor after hours to fix a leaking tap.
If there is something in your apartment which requires maintenance or repair you should contact the landlord or the landlord's agent by phone to advise them of the problem and to request that the problem be rectified. Always follow up by writing an email or letter documenting the problem and when you reported it. It is also a good idea to take dated photographs of any problems. Do this each time you contact the landlord about a necessary repair. Good and positive communication with the landlord is very important. Any further remedies will require written and photographic documentation of the problem and its history.
You should advise the landlord or landlord's agent of problems with the apartment as soon as you become aware of them. This is to allow the landlord to fix the problem before significant damage is suffered to the leased property. If you fail to report a problem to the landlord and significant damage occurs as a result, the landlord may try to recover damages from you for the additional loss caused by your failure to promptly report the problem.
Last modified: 2011-12-20 13:02:06