Understanding Emergency vs. Non Emergency Maintenance

Tenants often believe that every maintenance request is an emergency or the most important maintenance request in your building, but that is rarely the case. It’s important that you explain the differences between emergency maintenance requests and standard unit maintenance along with the priority level differences between the two. This can help your tenants understand the emergency repair vs. maintenance request process.

Maintenance Requests

In general, maintenance requests are work orders for repair jobs that are for your specific rental property.

For example, a dishwasher isn’t working properly so your tenant will likely make you aware of that.

You should always ensure that your tenant submits maintenance requests in writing to you.

Emergency Repairs

Emergency repairs occur due to a critical system malfunctioning or completely failing.

Examples of emergency repairs would include:

  • Furnace shut down (no heat)
  • No cooling
  • Fire
  • Water


Explaining the difference between an Emergency Repair vs. Maintenance Request to Tenants

To help prevent frustration and unnecessary calls to our office and maintenance staff, Welcome Home ensures that all residents know what to expect when reporting a maintenance problem and reporting a maintenance emergency. A good place to start is when the tenant can expect the repair to occur.

In general, tenant maintenance requests should be handled within 24 to 48 hours, preferably 24. Non-emergency tenant maintenance requests might include a broken dishwasher, a water leak that is no longer actively leaking but caused damage to the surrounding area, and small items that are broken, like door handles and cabinet knobs.

Emergency maintenance requests should be handled immediately, and you should have a 24-hour emergency contractor that you can call in case an emergency does arise in your building.

Communicating the difference to your residents early will help alleviate stressful situations among your tenants and help them understand what is an emergency and what is not. Maintenance is the #1 issue you will face as a landlord and will make or break you as a landlord. Welcome Home can assist you in managing this as we have a team of trades at our disposal to handle routine maintenance and emergency maintenance.  Feel free to reach out to our team if you think we can help.