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What Qualifies as an Emergency Maintenance Request?

North Richland Hills Tenant Holding a Bucket Under a LeakThe majority of North Richland Hills property managers know that you need to respond immediately when a tenant calls with an emergency maintenance request. But which maintenance requests are emergencies that need direct attention, and which are less urgent? This is one of the more challenging questions that property owners face since some concerns, even those that are problematic or annoying, are not true emergencies. On the other side, some maintenance issues are sufficiently important to be addressed immediately or risk violating Landlord/Tenant laws or habitability code. Understanding the difference between the two can help you manage all of your tenant’s maintenance requests with assurance.

Defining Emergency Repairs

One method to determine 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. In general, any problem that meets this definition would be considered an emergency. Typical emergencies involve:

  • 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 essential to know that certain maintenance items may be emergencies under one set of conditions but not another. As an illustration, a broken air conditioner is not an emergency in rainy weather. But in a heatwave, where temperatures rise to hazardous levels, it is essential. Failing to respond immediately to emergencies like these – including those that occur in the middle of the night – could violate habitability laws and, eventually, lead to serious legal trouble. This is particularly the case if your inaction causes your tenant to take matters into their own hands and coordinate or make the repairs themselves.

Non-Emergency Maintenance Types

However, other maintenance issues that, even though problematic, are not usually considered emergencies except if there are extenuating circumstances. As an illustration, a malfunctioning appliance, no hot water, or minor leaks may be upsetting for your tenant but typically do not fall under the category of an emergency repair. These sorts of maintenance issues should be described as regular maintenance requests, which you can deal with during business hours.


For rental property owners, understanding what constitutes an emergency maintenance issue and how to respond appropriately is an essential component of efficient property management. If you think that you can’t quickly respond to such requests or have other demands on your time, it might be time to hire a quality North Richland Hills property management company to do it for you. To learn more about what Real Property Management 360 offers rental property owners like you, contact us online.

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