Skip to Content

What Qualifies as an Emergency Maintenance Request?

Meridian Tenant Holding a Bucket Under a LeakNumerous Meridian property managers see that you need to respond immediately when a tenant calls with an emergency maintenance request. However, which maintenance requests are emergencies that require immediate attention, and which are less urgent? This is one of the challenging questions for property owners to experience since some matters, even though they bring discomfort or annoyance, are not true emergencies. On the other side, some maintenance issues are critical enough to be addressed immediately or risk violating Landlord/Tenant laws or habitability code. Understanding the difference between the two can assist you with dealing with all of your tenant’s maintenance requests without hesitation.

Defining Emergency Repairs

One strategy to recognize when you have a true emergency on your hands or not is to examine to what degree the maintenance issue could cause injury, serious property damage, or threaten your tenant’s health and safety. Generally, any issue that matches this definition would be considered an emergency. Significant 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 imperative to understand that certain maintenance items may be emergencies under one set of conditions but not another. As an instance, a broken air conditioner is not an emergency in cold weather. Yet, during a heatwave, where temperatures ascend to critical levels, it is obligatory. Failing to respond immediately to emergencies like these – including those that occur in the middle of the night – could violate habitability laws and, eventually, bring about serious legal trouble. This applies especially if your inaction initiates your tenant to take matters into their own hands and coordinate or make the repairs themselves.

Non-Emergency Maintenance Types

On the other hand, some maintenance issues that, even though worrying, are not regularly considered emergencies unless there are extenuating circumstances. As an example, a malfunctioning appliance, no hot water, or minor leaks may be distressing for your tenant but normally do not fall under the category of an emergency repair. These classes of maintenance issues should be labeled as regular maintenance requests, which you can deal with during business hours.


For rental property owners, knowing what constitutes an emergency maintenance issue and how to respond appropriately is a fundamental part of efficient property management. If you think that you can’t promptly respond to such requests or have other demands on your time, it might be a good idea to hire a quality Meridian property management company to do it for you. To learn more about what Real Property Management Boise offers rental property owners like you, contact us online.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details