Property Management Blog

What Maintenance Issues Are Emergencies and What Can Wait For Regular Business Hours?

System - Friday, May 26, 2023

emergency maintenance

As a homeowner or a property manager, it's crucial to understand the difference between maintenance matters that require immediate attention and those that can be addressed during regular business hours.

In this article, we at KRS Property Management will walk you through common maintenance scenarios, providing insights on how to identify emergencies, handle them effectively, and determine which issues can be safely deferred until regular business hours. 

What is Emergency Rental Property Maintenance 

Emergency rental property maintenance refers to urgent issues that require immediate attention to ensure the safety, security, or habitability of the property. These are situations that cannot wait for regular business hours and must be addressed promptly to prevent further damage or inconvenience. Here are some examples of such maintenance concerns:

  • Broken water lines or frozen pipes can lead to leaks, flooding, or water damage.
  • Fires, gas leaks, or broken gas lines.
  • Broken doors or locks that compromise the security of the property.
  • Sewer backup and flood situations can cause extensive damage and health hazards.
  • Lack of heating during winter, which can lead to discomfort, health risks, or frozen pipes.
  • Insufficient or non-functional air conditioning in extreme heat conditions.
  • Electrical issues, such as exposed wires, power surges, or complete power failure.
  • Leaking roofs that can cause water damage, structural issues, or mold growth.
  • Carbon monoxide detection, as elevated levels can be life-threatening.
  • Extended power outages affect essential services and compromise safety.
  • Break-ins that require immediate action to ensure the security of occupants and property.

a roof with water running off it

It's important to note that emergency maintenance should be addressed promptly and handled by professionals with the necessary expertise to mitigate any risks.

What’s Not Classified as a Maintenance Emergency? 

Concerns that do not typically fall under the category of maintenance emergencies are issues that don’t pose immediate risks to health, safety, or property. These concerns are typically considered non-urgent and can be addressed during regular business hours. Examples of concerns that don’t come under maintenance emergencies include:

  • Routine maintenance tasks include general cleaning, touch-up painting, or landscaping.
  • Non-essential repairs or cosmetic issues that do not affect the functionality or safety of the property.
  • Minor plumbing leaks that do not cause flooding or significant water damage.
  • Non-functional, non-essential appliances or fixtures.
  • Aesthetics-related concerns, such as scuff marks on walls or worn-out carpeting.
  • Requests for upgrades or modifications that are not necessary for health, safety, or property preservation.
  • General wear and tear that does not pose an immediate threat.
  • Non-urgent pest control issues, such as occasional sightings of insects.

While these issues may not require immediate attention, remind tenants of the importance of reporting them to the appropriate maintenance personnel or property manager to ensure they are addressed in a timely manner during normal business hours.

two paint rollers with white paint

Tips for Handling Rental Property Emergency Maintenance

There are several steps a landlord can take to address emergency maintenance issues. Here are some tips for handling rental property emergency maintenance problems:

Emergency Services

Have a list of trusted vendors you can turn to for any emergencies that may occur outside regular business hours. This ensures that you can quickly contact the necessary professionals, such as plumbers or electricians, to address urgent issues.


Ensure that you are reachable in the event of an emergency. Provide your tenants with the best way to reach you, so you can answer their questions, provide instructions, or stay informed about the situation.

Open Communication

Maintain consistent communication with your tenants during emergencies. After providing initial instructions or calling an emergency service, continue to update the tenant on the vendor's estimated arrival time and any additional instructions for protecting the property.

Landlord Responsibilities

Understand the difference between immediate landlord responsibilities and what can wait. Address emergency repairs that threaten the tenants' health, safety, or cause extensive damage to the property promptly. For repairs not deemed emergencies, follow standard procedures by providing notice and scheduling repairs during regular business hours.

Answer the Vital Questions

Gather essential information about the emergency, such as the extent of the damage, the need for temporary housing, liability issues, and the tenant's insurance coverage. This information will help you make decisions about the next steps to take.

person sitting at their desk while talking on the phone


Keep a record of emergency maintenance events to avoid disputes or confusion. Even though emergencies often begin with a phone call, document the conversations, repairs made, agreed-upon next steps, and any necessary follow-up. It's also helpful to follow up with tenants in writing, such as through email, to ensure everyone is on the same page and aware of the actions taken.

An Understanding Mindset

Approach emergencies with empathy and maintain a professional tone when interacting with tenants. Understand that emergencies can be distressing for both parties involved. 

Calmly explain the nature of the maintenance issues and provide guidance if the situation does not constitute a rental property emergency. Reassure tenants and offer support throughout the process as this can help foster a stronger landlord-tenant relationship.

Bottom Line

It's crucial for landlords to understand which maintenance issues are emergencies and require immediate attention, and which ones can wait for regular business hours. By prioritizing the health, safety, and preservation of the property, landlords can ensure a positive landlord-tenant relationship. 

However, managing rental property emergencies can be challenging, especially if you're a first-time landlord or busy with multiple properties. That's where a reliable property management company like KRS Property Management can make all the difference. With our expertise, 24/7 availability, and trusted network of vendors, we can handle emergencies promptly and efficiently, giving you and your tenants peace of mind. 

Consider the benefits of hiring a property management company like KRS Property Management for seamless property management and exceptional tenant satisfaction!