What Is Considered a Maintenance Emergency?

Plumber repairing a leak under a sink in an apartment.

As a landlord, it’s not uncommon to balance several maintenance requests from tenants simultaneously. This is why it’s so important to understand what constitutes a maintenance emergency and what can wait for normal business hours to be addressed.

Knowing the difference between an emergency and a non-emergency situation can help you respond appropriately, ensuring the safety and integrity of your property and your tenants’ well-being.

Defining a Maintenance Emergency

Several situations demand an emergency response from a qualified maintenance professional, including:

  • Water leaks: One of the most common maintenance emergencies is water leaks. These can result from burst pipes, overflowing toilets, or roof leaks. In such cases, immediate action is required to prevent further damage and mold growth.
  • Gas leaks: A gas leak is a severe emergency due to the potential for explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning. If your tenant smells gas, instruct them to leave the property immediately, call 911, and notify the proper maintenance professionals for emergency service.
  • HVAC failure: Extreme temperatures can pose health risks. If your tenants’ HVAC equipment stops working during extreme weather conditions, it qualifies as an emergency and should be addressed as such.
  • Electrical issues: Any issues that result in exposed wiring, sparking outlets, or power outages should be treated as emergencies. Tell your tenants to turn off the circuit breaker if it’s safe to do so before contacting an electrician for emergency service.
  • Lockouts: While not necessarily life-threatening, having a tenant who’s locked out of their property late at night can be considered an emergency, especially in inclement weather. At Block & Associates, we offer 24/7 assistance for lockouts to ensure the safety and well-being of your tenants.

What Is Not Considered a Maintenance Emergency?

In other cases, it may be best to wait for regular business hours to coordinate maintenance services for your tenants. These situations — while still a nuisance — are generally not considered maintenance emergencies:

  • Minor plumbing issues: Dripping faucets, running toilets, or slow drains are not considered emergencies. If a tenant comes to you with one of these issues late at night, it’s okay to wait until regular business hours to submit the request.
  • Appliance malfunctions: If the dishwasher, refrigerator, or other appliances in your tenant’s property stop working, it’s inconvenient but not an emergency.
  • Non-urgent repairs: Cosmetic issues like chipped paint or a loose cabinet handle don’t qualify as emergencies. These can be addressed as part of routine building maintenance.

No Matter the Problem, Block & Associates Can Help

Knowing what’s considered a maintenance emergency is crucial for landlords to respond appropriately and protect the well-being of their tenants.

When you choose Block & Associates for your property management needs, you can rest assured that you’ll receive prompt, reliable assistance in emergency situations, ensuring your safety and the preservation of your rental property.

Don’t compromise on property management — choose Block & Associates for peace of mind. Call 919-459-6300 to ask about our property management solutions today.

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