Fort Hood Area Rental Market News

November 24th, 2010 2:53 PM

We, at Armadillo Properties, want to make sure your home maintenance emergencies are dealt with quickly. So how do you know when your situation is a bona fide Home Maintenance Emergency? The following is a guide to help you understand what Armadillo Properties will consider an emergency, and what will be considered routine maintenance:

Maintenance Emergency Defined

A maintenance emergency is anything relating to the property that is threatening to life, health or the structural integrity of the property itself, and cannot wait until the next business day for repair.

Specific Examples of Emergencies

Clogged Toilet:

A clogged toilet is only an emergency if there is only one toilet in your home AND you have made every effort, including plunging, to clear the stoppage yourself; but were unsuccessful. If this is the case, turn off the water supply valve behind the toilet, shut the lid and clean up any mess, then follow the emergency work order procedures outlined at the end of this article.

Sewage Backup:

Sewage backup will be considered an emergency only when raw sewage is actually backed up into the toilet, bathtub, or sinks and will not drain. Many times, these situations are the result of a problem with the city’s sewer system. However, it can also be the result of a home plumbing or septic system (in equipped homes) failure. If you are experiencing this problem, please follow the emergency work order procedures outlined at the end of this article.

Broken Pipe / Water Leaks:

A broken pipe that is gushing water into any portion of the residence or a leak that cannot be contained by collecting the runoff with a pail/pan is definitely a bona fide home maintenance emergency. You should immediately turn off the water valve to the broken pipe / leak area, or at the main water cut off to the property. Do everything within your power to contain and or remove any water or flooding and, if necessary, contact other residents who may be affected by the leak. Once this is done, follow the emergency work order procedures outlined at the end of this article.

No Hot Water:

A broken or inoperable hot water heater is only an emergency if there is no other way to heat water in the home, or if the water is leaking into the home, as in the “Broken Pipe” scenario above. If there is no other way to heat water (i.e. heating pots of water on the stove), or if water is leaking into the home, follow the emergency work order procedures outlined at the end of this article.

AC Repair:

A broken or inoperable air conditioning unit is only an emergency if the outside temperature exceeds 100 degrees before the start of the next business day. Prior to calling in a work order, emergency or otherwise: check all fuses and/or circuit breakers; make sure the thermostat is set to COOL and AUTO; and check batteries in DIGITAL thermostats (where equipped). If the problem still persists and the outdoor temperature has exceeded 100 degrees, follow the emergency work order procedures outlined at the end of this article.

Heater Repair:

A broken or inoperable heating unit is only an emergency if the outside temperature is falling below 40 degrees before the start of the next business day. Prior to calling in a work order, emergency or otherwise: check all fuses and/or circuit breakers for electric heaters; check the pilot light on gas heaters; if there is evidence of a gas leak (rotten egg smell), call your gas provider immediately; make sure the thermostat is set to HEAT and AUTO; and check batteries in DIGITAL thermostats (where equipped). If the problem still persists and the outdoor temperature is predicted to fall below 40 degrees, follow the emergency work order procedures outlined at the end of this article.

IMPORTANT NOTE - natural gas has the unmistakable odor of rotten eggs. If you suspect an appliance is leaking gas, turn off the appliance and turn off the gas supply to that appliance (you should be able to find a shut-off handle somewhere on the supply line). Report the problem to your gas provider immediately, and then call us.

Roof Leaks:

A leaky roof is an emergency only in the most extreme cases, where the ceiling is in jeopardy of collapsing. If in doubt, contact our maintenance staff and they may investigate on an emergency basis. While awaiting repairs, you should place buckets or pots under the leak to protect the residence from further damage.

Broken Door, Doorknob, Lock, or Window:

These items will only be considered emergencies if they prevents the resident from securing the unit from both within and from outside the unit. If this is the case, follow the emergency work order procedures outlined at the end of this article.

Structural Damage:

Damage to the structure of a property is an emergency when it immediately threatens the integrity of the property or the health or safety of the residents. If this is the case, follow the emergency work order procedures outlined at the end of this article.

No Electricity:

Power outages are an emergency only when there is no electricity throughout the unit. Partial outages do not constitute an emergency. Prior to calling in a work order, emergency or otherwise: call your utility service provider to determine if they can resolve the problem; check all circuit breakers by flipping them to the OFF position and then to the ON position; reset all GFI breakers (these are the little buttons sometimes found on outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and garages); check any fuses and replace if burned out. If you have done all these things and are still experiencing a total power outage, follow the emergency work order procedures outlined at the end of this article.

Sparking/Arcing Wires:

While this condition may not warrant an emergency work order, it is important to know what to do in this situation. First, turn off the circuit breaker controlling power to the affected area. Next, unplug the sparking wire. If the problem was inside a wall switch or outlet, follow the emergency work order procedures outlined at the end of this article.

Specific Examples of Non-Emergencies

Normally our maintenance department will not respond after-hours to any of the following non-emergency maintenance issues:

Installation of fuses or resetting of circuit breakers

Broken or inoperable refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, microwaves, compactors, washers, dryers etc.

Pest control problems

Lock-Outs:

It is the tenant’s responsibility to contact a locksmith to gain entry. The locks may not be changed or rekeyed unless absolutely necessary - and it is the resident's responsibility to ensure that Armadillo Properties receives 2 keys for any new lock or re-keyed lock.

Any water leaks that can be controlled by utilizing a pail, pan, etc. to catch the water, or the closing of a supply valve i.e.

  • Household sink, basin or bathtub leaks or stoppages
  • Leaking/dripping faucets, toilets, or drain pipe (Do not run water through pipe)

Emergency Work Order Request Procedures

If you have determined that your problem is a bona fide home maintenance emergency, or if you have ANY situation that seems immediately hazardous, damaging or detrimental, please call our office immediately.

During office hours, dial (254) 547-0978, ask for maintenance and explain your situation to them. You must then follow up with a written work order request. This can be done in person at our office, via email to repairs@armadilloproperties.com, or from our online maintenance request form at www.armadilloproperties.com.

After business hours, or on holidays, dial (254) 535-2088 and leave a detailed voice message with your name, property address, a detailed description of the problem, and the phone number where we can reach you. After leaving your message, please remain near the phone as our service personnel may require additional information to properly respond to your call. Then follow up with a written work order request, the same as above.

Important Notes:

First, the After Hours Emergency Maintenance Phone is a monitored line; therefore, calls will not be answered. You must leave a voicemail message clearly stating your emergency and how to contact you. Only valid emergency requests will be responded to. Armadillo Properties retains the right to determine the validity of emergency maintenance requests.

Next, residents are responsible for moving any personal items and keeping pets a sufficient distance away from the area to be repaired or item/equipment to be serviced. Maintenance staff will not move personal items and may refuse service if threatened or interfered with by a pet!

Finally, don’t be the one who cries wolf. Leaving messages constantly saying “It’s an emergency” and “I need someone immediately,” may soon begin to delay response time to your calls, and with good reason. We have real emergencies to deal with, so save phrases like “as soon as possible”, “emergency”, and “immediately” for when you truly need them. If you’re in doubt, describe what damage or risks are being caused to the property or yourself. For example, “My sink is leaking, and the water is soaking into the floor” or “My fuse box just blew up, there are sparks coming out, and I’m afraid to go near it.”

Hopefully, this information will help yo understand our emergency system, and make the process more managable for everyone.

- Broker -


Posted by Michael Zehr on November 24th, 2010 2:53 PMPost a Comment (5)

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