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What is Emergency Apartment Maintenance?

What is Emergency Apartment Maintenance?

Tenants who live in an apartment may deal with a range of maintenance issues while they're living there. When issues arise, it's important for tenants to know what's "normal" and when to request emergency maintenance.

So, what is considered emergency maintenance in an apartment? Read on to learn more about what's considered an emergency, so you know when to ask for help immediately.


No Heat in Winter

If your heat isn't working during the winter, your apartment can get cold pretty fast. No heat in the winter is almost always considered an emergency maintenance issue. In the meantime, a space heater can serve as a quick fix. Not only can the lack of heating make you feel miserable, but it could cause damage to the HVAC system, too. Frozen pipes or other issues could lead to much more serious problems later. Don't hesitate to contact your landlord if your apartment has no heat. This is most likely a "yes" when you ask what is considered emergency maintenance in an apartment.

NO AIR CONDITIONING IN SUMMER

Just like the lack of heating in winter, having no A/C in the summer is also considered an emergency maintenance issue. As temperatures rise, staying in your apartment without working A/C isn't just unpleasant; it could also be potentially dangerous.


If your A/C stops working, you should get in touch with your landlord or apartment property management company right away. The sooner they can address the issue, the quicker you'll get back to being comfortable.

Even if the problem with the A/C is complicated, there's a good chance that your landlord can come up with a temporary fix. Addressing a non-working air conditioning system is something that tenants should bring up as soon as possible.

a white thermostat on a white wall

THERE'S NO POWER IN THE APARTMENT

In most cases, having no power in your apartment is an issue related to the power company and not your landlord or the building itself. Start by contacting your local utility company to find out if there's an outage in your area. If the utility company can find a power outage for your building or unit, then there's no need to call your landlord. In fact, many apartment communities consider having no power to be an emergency maintenance issue for the utility company. In some cases, no power may be a result of an electrical issue. If your power company can't find the cause, then it might be time to contact your landlord. Check with other tenants in your building first to see if they're also without power before you call.

THE TOILET ISN'T FLUSHING

If the toilet isn't flushing in your apartment, there could be several reasons why. In most cases, it's likely due to a clog that you can try to fix with a plunger first. If you use a plunger and find it's not doing the job, the non-working toilet might be due to more serious underlying plumbing issues. After you try to unclog your toilet with a plunger, get in touch with your landlord to inform them of the problem.


A clogged sink or toilet is something that should be handled by an experienced plumber or maintenance technician. Just keep in mind that if they find that the clog is due to something you shouldn't have flushed down the toilet, you could be responsible to pay for the repair.

a roll of toilet paper sitting on top of a toilet

THE FRIDGE STOPS WORKING

A broken refrigerator can cause your food to spoil and you to lose a lot of your hard-earned money. While this is certainly important to you, this might not be considered an emergency maintenance issue. When requesting emergency maintenance, remember that there needs to be something urgent. Let your landlord know as soon as your fridge stops working, but don't expect a repair or replacement to happen right away.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED EMERGENCY MAINTENANCE IN AN APARTMENT?

Anything that is life-threatening, such as a fire or flooding, should be addressed by calling 911. Otherwise, here are some more common issues that are considered a job for emergency maintenance.

  • Gas leaks or a broken gas line
  • Plumbing issues causing flooding
  • Broken locks, doors, or windows
  • Non-working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Serious pest infestations
  • Damage caused to common areas that pose a safety hazard

Most leases will include a list of emergency maintenance issues you can refer to when in doubt. Less urgent problems are usually handled by the landlord or on-site management staff as soon as possible.

a pile of different types of tools on a table

NON-EMERGENCY ISSUES

Here are some items that most leases consider to be a non-emergency:

  • Non-working appliances (like a stove or fridge)
  • Cosmetic issues like cracked drywall
  • A clogged garbage disposal
  • Broken lights/light fixtures
  • Malfunctioning laundry equipment

Remember to contact your landlord right away, regardless of whether you think the maintenance issue is urgent. They will decide the level of urgency based on the problem you specify.

PRACTICE AN APARTMENT MAINTENANCE ROUTINE

When you ask what is considered emergency maintenance in an apartment, remember the items from this guide to help you determine which issues are urgent. Proper apartment maintenance can help to prevent many of these issues from becoming an emergency in the first place.


If you're looking for quality apartments and townhomes in the Wichita, KS, area, be sure to 
contact us today to schedule a tour or to find out more.