What Constitutes an Emergency…?

What Constitutes an Emergency…?

What Constitutes an Emergency…?

It’s Saturday @ 7:45pm, and your tenant calls to say, “my kitchen sink is dripping constantly, it’s driving me crazy. It needs to be fixed tonight.” Luckily, you have it clearly stated in their lease that a “dripping sink” does not constitute an emergency, and therefore the sink will be taken care of 1st thing Monday morning.

So, what does constitutes an emergency, these days? A weekend stove outage, a weekend water heater outage, and the usual HVAC problems, all of which, by universal law, always happen on a weekend (or on a Friday morning and the tenant waits until late afternoon to call us). In Denver, Aurora, Highlands Ranch, Parker and more, are these emergencies or are they just an inconvenience?

So…what’s the difference between an emergency and an inconvenience for your Property Manager?

To me, a non-working stove or water heater for a day or two – meaning Saturday or Sunday – is an inconvenience. The same might also be true of HVAC, depending on weather.

The tenant may want immediate service at weekend prices, but I’ve asked tenants before – if you owned and lived in the house, would you call the plumber or HVAC company to come out at weekend rates to replace the water heater, just to be told what you already know, that the water heater/stove/HVAC isn’t working and parts aren’t available until Monday?

And why should the tenant get better service than would the tenant, if also the homeowner, would provide for himself?

If it’s freezing or 100 degrees, we respond to HVAC problems, but not otherwise and not for a water heater or stove – and are not in violation of state law in doing so.  (Situations have been simplified to make a point.)

As my old college days landlord said, back in the ‘late 60’s, an emergency is “fire, flood or blood”.

We define what an emergency is in our lease agreement.  Here’s a simplified version of that paragraph – it’s saved us so many times:


emergencies). Emergency repairs shall be deemed as follows:

  1. Broken locks, window locks or a broken garage door and/or automatic garage door opener
  2. Major water leaks, including broken pipes or seriously clogged drains that could flood the premises
  3. No heat (if provided)
  4. Gas leaks
  5. Electrical shorts or sparking.
  6. Any other condition which the LESSEE may deem life-threatening or pose a threat of harm to the premises.


Let Legacy Properties-PM manage your investment property in Denver, Aurora or Centennial areas, and take care of your tenants when there is an emergency or an inconvenience. Leave it up to us to be the tough guy when it comes to deciphering between a true emergency or an inconvenience with your rental home. Call 720.989.1996 or contact us.