Understanding Rental Property Emergencies: A Tenant's Guide

Evolve News - December 2023

What constitutes an emergency?


A genuine emergency represents either an immediate danger to safety and/ or issue which might cause additional, unnecessary damage to the property if not attend to immediately. 

An emergency in a rental property typically falls into one of the following categories:

  • Fire: If there is a fire in your property or building, you should leave premises and call 999 immediately. Fire is a life-threatening emergency.
  • Gas leaks: If you can smell gas or suspect a gas leak, you should leave the property immediately and call National Grid on 0800 111 999
  • Water leaks: In cases where severe water leaks or burst pipes that cannot be contained or stopped by turning off an isolation valve or stop tap
  • Break ins which require doors and/ or windows to be secured
  • Total loss of heating or hot water in extreme weather conditions
  • No Electricity: If your power goes out and it is not due to a power cut
  • Electrical Faults: Any electrical issues that pose a risk of fire or electrical shock are considered emergencies
  • No water: Call Yorkshire Water on 0345 1242424

What to do in an emergency


When you encounter an emergency in your rental property, here are the steps to take:


- Safety First: Ensure your safety and the safety of others. In life-threatening situations, call 999 first.


- Contact your landlord or letting agent immediately to report the emergency. Provide essential details including:

·        Your name and contact number.

·        Your property address, including any specific unit or apartment number.

·        A clear and concise description of the emergency issue.

·        Any immediate actions you have taken to contain the situation (e.g. turning off utilities).

- Document the Issue: Take photos or videos of the emergency if it is safe to do so. Documentation can be valuable for insurance claims or legal purposes.


- Mitigate Damage: If it is safe and practical, take steps to minimise further damage (e.g., shutting off water in case of a leak).


By being prepared and proactive, you can navigate rental property emergencies with confidence. Always prioritise safety and keep open lines of communication with your landlord or letting agent to ensure that any issues are resolved efficiently and effectively.


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