Elevator Out of Order: A Guide to Sending Notice

Elevator Out of Order

Elevator out of service signs and memos are essential for your building.  This guide will help with emails and printing PDF signs.

On the comedy hit, The Big Bang Theory, the fictional apartment building has an elevator that has been out of order for years. The audience finds this funny because it exaggerates a common problem they experience in their own lives, one they do not find so funny when they are carrying boxes up three flights of stairs. In real life, dealing with a broken elevator is painful for everyone involved. 

If your building’s elevator is down, you need to carefully craft a tenant notification to address their concerns.

Let’s discuss the best ways to send notice.

Elevator Down – Notification Elements

Tenants will always be perturbed about an out-of-service elevator, but they will be less upset if you give them all the information that they need. Your notice should include the following:

  • Identify which elevator is out of service. If you’re sending a memo by email, make sure let everyone know the elevator number.
  • Explain why the elevator is out of service. For instance, a part may be broken; the elevator is not running smoothly; it became stuck earlier, etc. Alternatively, maybe the elevator is down for code required inspection. Tenants hate a mystery, so give them the details.
  • Give the tenants a timeframe for repairs. Be honest with them. If the elevator is out for 24 – 48 hours, say so. Do not be overly optimistic because tenants will count on your estimate. Moreover, if the repairs won’t happen for a week, admit that as well, unless you want angry tenants calling you every day for an explanation.
  • Explain their options. Should they use another elevator or take the steps? Direct them to the most convenient alternative.
  • Discuss the expected outcome. Reassure your tenants that the elevator will be safe once it is fixed and explain how the repair will improve long-term reliability.
  • Discuss the condition of any other elevators. If you have multiple elevators, discuss their current situation, especially those that may need repair shortly. If this repair is only required on one unit, reassure them that other units have been checked.
  • Show an Understanding of Inconvenience.  Make sure you mention or even apologize, for the setback this might cause them.  Make sure you say that you’ll do everything possible to accommodate everyone during the outage.
  • List contact information for questions.  Note who wrote the notice and how to get in touch with additional questions.  The tenant might have a large shipment coming that day; perhaps they have questions about storage in the meantime.  

Printable Elevator Out of Order Sign

Sometimes having an elevator out of service sign printed and posted near the elevator can help tenants, it stops them from waiting for the elevator to arrive.  Click below to download our printable PDF copy of the sign. ​Get PDF Sign

Elevator Out of Service Memo:

Email Example 1 – Elevator Out of Service for Inspection

“Notice:  Elevator #2 Out of Service

Please be advised that elevator #2 will be removed from service tomorrow from 8 am – 3 pm for city-mandated elevator inspections.  During the outage, please use elevator # 1 or the south stairwell. 

This is the only elevator that requires the inspection.  No other elevator in the building will require an outage. 

We apologize for the inconvenience and will be happy to accommodate any special requests.  

Please contact building management at  manager@building.com with any questions.  


Building Management Company”

Email Example 2 – Elevator Down for Repairs

“Notice:  Elevator #2 Down for Repairs

Elevator #1 is down for repairs on component XYZ.  The replacement parts have been ordered, and elevator service should be restored in the next four business days.  Elevator reliability will improve when the parts are replaced. 

In the meantime, please use the stairs or elevator 2 – 4

The other elevators in the building were inspected with no issues found. 

We understand the impact this will have on each of you.  We are happy to accommodate any special requests. 

Please contact engineering at  engineer@building.com with any questions.  


Building Engineer”

Elevator Out of Service

How to Improve Elevator Performance

If you find yourself writing these notices regularly, it may be time to consider taking a more pro-active approach. Tenants will only tolerate out-of-service elevators for so long before they move to another building. 

ElevatorLab experts will consult with you to find the best solution for your elevator problem, whether it be a new elevator service contract or an upgrade. Your elevators are essential for tenant satisfaction so be sure to consider all of your options

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