What Maintenance Issues Are Emergencies and What Can Wait?

No one wants to receive an emergency call in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, this is often unavoidable for landlords. When you own a rental property, you must be ready to deal with emergency maintenance and repairs at any time of the day.

Sometimes, tenants can call you for something that doesn’t constitute an emergency, like parking issues or a noise complaint. To effectively make use of your time and resources, you must know what is a maintenance emergency and what can wait for the next day.

To help you, the experts at Evolve Real Estate and Property Management have written this article. Keep reading to learn how to distinguish emergent and non-emergent issues in your rental property.

What Is Emergency Maintenance?

Knowing what constitutes an emergency will stop you from rushing to solve a problem that can wait until tomorrow. This can help you comply with local landlord-tenant laws and help you prioritize your renters’ well-being.

In the long run, this can significantly improve the relationship you’ve built with your tenants.

Maintenance emergencies are issues that, if left unattended for too long, can pose a health or safety threat to your tenants’ well-being or can cause considerable damage to your property. Examples include:

  • Floodings
  • Broken heating systems during winter
  • Fires
  • Broken doors that can’t be secured
  • Gas leaks
  • Sewer back-up
  • Broken or frozen pipes
  • Lack of running water
  • A leaking or collapsed roofs
  • Electrical issues
  • Carbon monoxide detection
  • Extended power outages
  • Theft and break-ins

A door with a secure locking mechanism.

Anything that doesn’t present the possibility of danger isn’t considered an emergency and can wait for regular business hours to be attended to. So, if tenants call you in the middle of the night to inform you about an appliance malfunction, minor leak, or a burnt-out lightbulb, you can tell them that it’s not an emergency, so you will tend to it the following day.

Dealing with Emergency Maintenance Issues

When you get an emergency call, you must act quickly. Leaving maintenance issues unattended for long can lead to significant damage to your rental and huge risks to your renters’ well-being.

Additionally, this can negatively affect the relationship with your tenants, and make them feel you’re not concerned about their health or the property’s safety.

If you want to retain tenants for the long term, you must know how to effectively deal with emergency maintenance issues. Here are some tips to help you out.

Give Tenants Your Contact Information

Emergencies can happen at any time, so it’s crucial that your tenants can reach out to you whenever necessary. When a new renter moves in, make sure to give them your full contact information, including a phone number.

On top of that, it’s important to provide them with instructions on what to do in case of an emergency. Inform them about fire safety information like fire escapes and how to open the windows, along with locations of smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, .

A lit up sign pointing to a fire escape.

Keep Emergency Services on Speed Dial

In emergencies such as fires or gas leaks, you or your tenants must contact emergency services immediately. Failing to do so can cause serious harm to your renters and your property.

Remain Calm

Having to deal with an emergency can be incredibly stressful. While this is completely normal to feel frustrated, reacting badly to such an issue can harm your landlord-tenant relationship.

That’s why you must remain calm and professional during emergencies. This will not only keep your renters at ease but can also help you assess the issue more efficiently.

Maintain Open Lines of Communication

Emergency maintenance issues are not only stressful for you as a landlord but also for your tenants. Keeping open lines of communication can help you both feel calmer and find a solution more quickly.

Remember to inform tenants when and who is coming to inspect the issue and, later on, how and when it’s going to be fixed.

Document Everything

Landlords should keep records of all maintenance and repairs done to their property. This includes emergency issues. This helps you keep track of your expenses, plus, documenting what the emergency was and how you dealt with it can help you avoid misunderstandings or disputes in the future.

The hands of a person writing in a notebook.

Work with Trusted Contractors

Your rental property is a huge investment. So, you shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to emergency repairs. Finding reliable contractors is key to keeping your rental property in good condition all year round.

That’s why you must take the time to search for contractors in your area, from plumbers and electricians to exterminators. Look for online reviews to find the best service near you and work towards establishing a good work relationship with them. This way, you’ll know who to call in case an emergency ever arises.

Hire a Property Manager

If you conduct regular property inspections and screen tenants thoroughly, you significantly reduce the likelihood of emergency maintenance issues. However, this doesn’t mean that you can prevent emergencies altogether. It’s still important to always be prepared.

Dealing with emergencies can be stressful and time-consuming. If you don’t want to be on call 24/7, you should consider working with a property management company. These professionals are available and prepared to deal with emergencies at any time. So, you can rest assured that your rental property will always be in good hands.

Bottom Line

Maintenance emergencies are an unavoidable part of owning a rental property. Knowing how to deal with emergencies effectively and promptly will help you keep your tenant and investment safe at all times.

Now that you know what is an emergency and what can wait until the next day, you are better prepared to deal with maintenance issues in a timely and effective manner.

Do you need help managing maintenance requests for your Denver rental? Contact Evolve Real Estate and Property Management today! With our premier property management services, we’ll ensure your rental investment is always in good condition.