What is Considered a Maintenance Emergency?

Osprey Property Management   |   date March 2023

Being a property manager consists of juggling a multitude of jobs. One of the bigger jobs of a landlord is dealing with maintenance requests. It can be cumbersome to deal with all that goes into keeping up with even one property, let alone several, without the help of a Virginia Beach property management company.

Staying on top of the maintenance issues is critical to keeping your tenants happy. It also can help boost ROI because you can keep costs at a minimum with the right maintenance strategy. However, every property owner deals with emergency maintenance issues from time to time (or renters who think their maintenance request is an emergency). 

What is a maintenance emergency? Today our property management experts help you help renters understand what's an emergency (and what isn't).

What is a Maintenance Request?

We'll start with the basics! When something goes wrong in a rental home, tenants place a maintenance request to let property owners know. It's important for property owners to provide easy access to tenants to request maintenance help, either with a specific phone number or a resident's online portal that can receive and process requests. 

When renters feel like they can't get in touch with someone about a maintenance issue, they can quickly become unhappy. Bad maintenance services and slow response times are often the primary reasons why renters don't renew leases. 

Close-up Of A Man Repairing Sink Pipe Leakage With Adjustable WrenchWhat Are the Different Types of Maintenance Requests?

Not all maintenance requests are the same. Some issues are urgent problems and need to be addressed right away, while others are routine maintenance needs that don't require an urgent response. Of course, both types of maintenance issues need to be completed, but a property owner can approach them in different ways.

So, the first thing property owners must determine when receiving a request is the nature of the situation. Is it urgent, or can it wait? Understanding the complaint can help you prioritize resources and respond appropriately to residents. 

What Is Considered a Maintenance Emergency?

From a tenant's perspective, every maintenance call is probably an emergency. No one likes to live in a home that needs repairs. 

However, from a property owner's point of view, not every maintenance call is a top priority or emergency situation.

A maintenance emergency is a true emergency. That means either someone or something is at risk of harm. For example, if the furnace goes out in the middle of winter, someone is at risk of complications due to the cold.

Or, if a water pipe bursts, your property is at risk of getting damaged. Both situations cause immediate danger or risk. Handling the situation with a quick response is vital to keep properties and tenants in good shape.

Rental property owners can expedite emergency maintenance calls more efficiently when using a dedicated line for these calls, in addition to an online portal to take maintenance requests. 

What Are Examples of Maintenance Non-Emergencies?

Tenants will also request repairs on non-emergency issues. Non-emergency maintenance requests are issues or problems that won't cause immediate damage. 

These can range in severity, but the common factor that ties these together is that no one is in danger, and the property is safe. In other words, a property owner can afford to schedule the repair at their convenience after hearing of an issue from a renter.

What is the Best Way to Respond to Maintenance Emergencies vs. Non-Emergencies?

Tenants need to know what to do when things go wrong. Owners must set guidelines, so tenants know what to do when something breaks in the property. 

During move-in is an ideal time to let renters know how to submit a maintenance request, the difference between emergencies and non-emergencies, and what to do in an emergency. Be sure they understand how to handle non-emergency versus emergency maintenance requests.

Portrait Of Smiling Painter With Arm Crossed Holding Paintbrush At HomeProactive Maintenance Helps Prevent Emergencies

The best type of maintenance plan is a proactive one. If you can fix something before it worsens or prevent an issue from occurring altogether, your properties stay in better condition, and residents are happier!

Creating a proactive plan should include doing regular, scheduled maintenance. A property manager can help you create a schedule of routine and seasonal repairs to keep rental properties in excellent condition. Things like changing the HVAC filter and checking the smoke alarms are two examples of proactive maintenance for rentals.  

Handle Maintenance Requests With a Virginia Beach Property Management Company

The best way to handle any maintenance issue is with the best property managers in Virginia Beach! Osprey Property Management delivers comprehensive maintenance services to help renters feel safe in their homes and keep properties in excellent condition for owners. Reach out to learn how we can manage your routine maintenance issues, as well as the emergency requests that come in at all hours of the day and night.

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