There is a difference in timeliness of repairs between a professionally managed apartment complex and a private owner rental like a duplex or a house. We lay out the differences between the two and how quickly you can expect repairs to be made in both situations.
Apartment rentals that are professionally managed always have in your lease contract the difference between emergency maintenance and non-emergency maintenance and the time frame for getting it fixed. A broken air conditioner, sink or toilet that is overflowing, etc. is considered an emergency and maintenance will respond between 24 and 48 hours. However, if you have two bathrooms and one toilet is stopped up, that may not be considered an emergency. But if there's water on the floor, that is an emergency and the apartment complex will want to get it fixed as soon as possible so that it won't cause damage to the unit.
If you rent a personally owned house, duplex, etc. they will get to your problem when they are able to. A landlord that does not have their property managed by a property management company has to call around and find a contractor as opposed to having someone they already have contracted with to fix the problem and use everytime they have a problem. This adds time to how long it takes them to get repairs made on your unit. That's why we like to work with professionally managed apartment complexes and it's something you should consider when you are deciding where to live.
Non-emergency maintenance would be something like a doorknob breaking or a light not working and an apartment complex would get that repaired within two to four business days. In other words, they aren't going to respond to something like that on a weekend. They will of course still get it fixed, but it's considered non-urgent. However the timeliness of the response is still going to be a lot better than a private owner, especially one who lives out of town or owns a lot of properties.