One of the greatest things about living in a rental apartment is the fact you have way less responsibility should something go wrong! That does not, however, mean that you have no responsibility. Unfortunately, there is the possibility that you might find yourself in the situation of living in a place when disaster strikes. This might be a burglary, a fire, or a flood, among other catastrophic events that are out of your control. So what is the proper way to handle it, should you ever find yourself in one of these not so enjoyable circumstances? Read on to find out.
Take Necessary Precautions
The best and easiest way to deal with a catastrophe in your rental apartment is to avoid having one in the first place. This means you will need to the take the necessary precautions to ensure that your home is as secure as possible. Take the extra moment to verify that you’ve turned off appliances before leaving for the day. Don’t forget to report any possible leaks or water damage immediately to avoid them becoming much bigger problems down the line. Additionally, go the extra mile and talk to your landlord about installing a security system or a deadbolt on your door. These, and other simple precautions, could help to prevent unnecessary drama.
Do What You Can After a Catastrophe Has Happened
If you’ve taken the recommended precautions and you still find yourself in the midst of a crisis, act fast to minimize damage. For example, if you’ve suffered a flood from a leaking toilet or a broken pipe, turn off the water valves inside of your rental apartment as soon as possible. Grab whatever rags, sheets, and towels you have available to clean up standing water before it eats away at drywall and pops up flooring.
Think Safety First
If you’ve become the unwilling victim of a burglary, now is not the time to be the hero. Vacate your rental apartment immediately and contact the local authorities to verify that your space is empty and safe before you re-enter. In the case of a fire, flood, or other natural disaster make sure that the premises are in sound structural condition before trying to enter as well. Remember that the contents of your apartment are replaceable.
Contact Your Landlord
Upon discovering any type of catastrophe in your rental apartment, your first call after alerting any necessary authorities, should be your landlord. Your landlord will likely already have a protocol in place that he/she would like followed in this type of event. They will be able to contact their insurance company and anybody else necessary to get the mess cleaned up as quickly and efficiently as possible so that you can get back into your space in a timely fashion. Your landlord probably has a network of industry professionals on speed dial, so call them first, even if your uncle is a plumber.
Check-in With Your Neighbors
When you’re living in a rental apartment, there’s a very good chance that it won’t just be you that is affected in the event of a disaster. Being that many of your walls, ceilings, and floors are shared, a problem in one unit can quickly become a problem in many units. Once you’ve gotten off the phone with your landlord, start checking in with your neighbors to see if they’ve experienced any damage as the result of the incident. If they aren’t home, do what you can to locate them or, if you have an on-site management team, contact them so that they can access the apartments around you to check for damage.
Carry Renter’s Insurance
One of the best ways you can protect yourself in a rental apartment is to carry renter’s insurance. Yes, your landlord probably already has a policy in place, but that doesn’t mean it will cover your personal losses. Renter’s insurance is extremely cheap (usually around $15 a month) and it can offer additional coverage that can ensure that you have the financial means to replace any of your personal belongings that are damaged in the event of an accident. It can also provide you with a place to stay if your space becomes uninhabitable, and cover any liability should it be determined that the issue was your fault.
Looking for a Rental Apartment in Hattiesburg?
Dealing with an unexpected catastrophe can be stressful, but searching for your perfect rental apartment shouldn’t be. At Hattiesburg Apartments, our dedicated team offers our clients over 35 years of experience in the Hattiesburg market. We work diligently to match our clients with their perfect apartment homes, and we can’t wait to help you find yours. Take a look at some of our available properties, and reach out to get your search started.