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What Qualifies as an Emergency Maintenance Request?

Wentzville Tenant Holding a Bucket Under a LeakMany Wentzville property managers understand that you need to respond immediately when a tenant calls with an emergency maintenance request. However, which maintenance requests are emergencies and require quick attention, and which are less urgent? This is one of the most challenging questions that property owners answer since certain problems, even those that cause distress or troublesomeness, are not true emergencies. In contrast, other maintenance issues are significant enough to be addressed immediately or risk violating Landlord/Tenant laws or habitability code. Determining the difference between the two can assist you in handling all of your tenant’s maintenance requests with certainty.

Defining Emergency Repairs

One approach to determine when you have a true emergency on your hands or not is to assess to what degree the maintenance issue could cause injury, serious property damage, or threaten your tenant’s health and safety. Any situation that matches this definition is usually considered an emergency. Typical emergencies contain:

  • Gas Leak
  • Frozen or Broken Water Lines
  • Flooding or Water Emergencies
  • Fire
  • Carbon Monoxide Detection
  • Sewer Back-up
  • No Heat in Cold Weather
  • No Air Conditioning in Extremely Hot Temperatures
  • Extended Power Outage
  • Intruder Break-In

Is It An Emergency? It Depends.

It is critical to recognize that certain maintenance items may be emergencies under one set of conditions but not another. For instance, a broken air conditioner is not an emergency in cold weather. However, in a heatwave, where temperatures reach alarming degrees, it is very necessary. Forgetting to respond immediately to emergencies like these – including those that occur in the middle of the night – could violate habitability laws and, ultimately, result in serious legal trouble. This is particularly correct if your inaction prompts your tenant to take matters into their own hands and coordinate or make the repairs themselves.

Non-Emergency Maintenance Types

Then again, other maintenance issues that, while troublesome, are not typically considered emergencies except if there are extenuating circumstances. For instance, a malfunctioning appliance, no hot water, or minor leaks may be bothersome for your tenant but mostly do not fall under the category of an emergency repair. These kinds of maintenance issues must be recorded as a regular maintenance request, which you can undertake during business hours.


For rental property owners, understanding what constitutes an emergency maintenance issue and how to respond appropriately is a huge portion of successful property management. If you think that you cannot respond to such requests immediately or have other demands on your time, it might be ideal to hire a quality Wentzville property management company to do it for you. To learn more about what Real Property Management Three Bridges offers rental property owners like you, contact us online.

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