In renting, there are two types of maintenance, emergency and non-emergency and apartments and other rentals handle them differently.

Typically emergency maintenance includes power outages, water breakages and air conditioning (heating and cooling) issues that make conditions within the apartment unlivable. Exceptions might include two toilets, with one stopped up but not overflowing. That is not considered a maintenance emergency, just a smelly problem. Emergency cases are typically responded to within 24 hours, although some properties only guarantee 48 hour responses.

Things that might fall under non-emergency would be a light bulb out, a faucet dripping. Only certain appliances fall under an emergency, and it is very property specific. Commonly a refrigerator could fall under the emergency category, but a stove most likely will not. A dishwasher, probably won’t unless it is leaking. Response to non-emergency cases varies by property, but usually occurs within three business days (weekends NOT included).

At Individually owned properties like duplexes or single family homes, response times vary greatly and usually depend on the owner locating a contractor they are willing to work with for that specific problem. For example, AC people in summer are hard to find.

Professionally managed properties, like apartment complexes, have their own set of certified maintenance crews, so response times are much more reliable. A professionally managed property will provide you with a lease agreement that spells out what constitutes a maintenance emergency, non-emergency, and response times for each.

Have more questions about rental maintenance? Not happy with your current set up? Call me! The apartment finders in our office have long-standing relationships with most of the Austin apartment managers. We won’t steer you wrong!