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What Qualifies as an Emergency Maintenance Request?

Cedar Park Tenant Holding a Bucket Under a LeakLots of Cedar Park property managers understand that you need to respond immediately when a tenant calls with an emergency maintenance request. However, which maintenance requests are emergencies that need prompt attention, and which are less urgent? This is one of the more challenging questions for property owners to answer since some situations, even if they bring uneasiness or troublesomeness, are not true emergencies. On the flip side, other maintenance issues are critical enough to be addressed immediately or risk violating Landlord/Tenant laws or habitability code. Comprehending the difference between the two can enable you to address all of your tenant’s maintenance requests with assurance.

Defining Emergency Repairs

One way to know when you have a true emergency on your hands or not is to consider to what degree the maintenance issue could cause injury, serious property damage, or threaten your tenant’s health and safety. Any condition that would meet this definition is generally considered an emergency. Major emergencies include:

  • 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 important to understand 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 during cold weather. But in a heatwave, where temperatures achieve unsafe levels, it is unquestionably needed. Inability to respond immediately to emergencies like these – including those that occur in the middle of the night – could violate habitability laws and, ultimately, cause serious legal trouble. This applies especially if your inaction forces your tenant to take matters into their own hands and coordinate or make the repairs themselves.

Non-Emergency Maintenance Types

On the other hand, other maintenance issues that, although irritating, are typically not considered emergencies unless there are extenuating circumstances. To give an instance, a malfunctioning appliance, no hot water, or minor leaks may be problematic for your tenant but usually do not fall under the category of an emergency repair. These forms of maintenance issues need to be reported as a regular maintenance request, which you may handle during business hours.


For rental property owners, determining what constitutes an emergency maintenance issue and how to respond appropriately is a vital ingredient of successful property management. If you found that you cannot respond to such requests promptly or have other demands on your time, it may be time to hire a quality Cedar Park property management company to do it for you. To learn more about what Real Property Management All Connect offers rental property owners like you, contact us online.

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