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Because every tenant will most likely need repairs done at some point during their renting life

As a tenant, it’s important to understand what constitutes an urgent and non-urgent repair.

Knowing whether your request is urgent or not and what you can do could potentially be very beneficial to you during your time as a tenant.

It is important to note that with any urgent or emergency repairs, it is vital to notify the landlord or property manager right away.

It is also important to know that regulations do vary between states though.

Victoria

Urgent repairs:

According to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, urgent repairs for rental properties are:

  • Burst water service
  • Blocked or broken toilet system
  • Serious roof leak
  • Gas leak
  • Dangerous electrical fault
  • Flooding or serious flood damage
  • Serious storm or fire damage
  • Failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided by a landlord or agent for hot water, water, cooking, heating, or laundering
  • Failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
  • Any fault or damage in the premises that makes the premises unsafe or insecure
  • An appliance, fitting or fixture that is not working properly and causes a substantial amount of water to be wasted
  • A serious fault in a lift or staircase.

If a tenant or resident makes a request for urgent repairs, the landlord must respond immediately and have them conducted as quickly as possible.

Non-urgent:

Consumer Affairs Victoria states that a non-urgent repair in Victoria can be defined as anything that isn’t defined as an urgent repair.

It is the landlord's responsibility to maintain the rented property in good repair over its lifespan.

If a tenant or resident requests non-urgent repairs, the landlord must respond in a prompt fashion.

While all repairs are the landlord's responsibility, if the tenant or resident caused the damage, the landlord is allowed to request they sort out and potentially pay for the repairs.

Tenants and residents must continue paying rent while they wait for repairs to be conducted.

It is important any communication between the two parties about repairs are made in writing for future record.

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New South Wales

Urgent repairs:

Urgent repairs in NSW are defined similarly to Victoria. They are:


  • A burst water service or a serious water service leak
  • A blocked or broken toilet
  • A serious roof leak
  • A gas leak
  • A dangerous electrical fault
  • Flooding or serious flood damage
  • Serious storm or fire damage
  • A failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the premises
  • A failure or breakdown of the hot water service
  • A failure or breakdown of the stove or oven
  • A failure or breakdown of a heater or air-conditioner
  • A fault or damage which makes the premises unsafe or insecure.

Non-urgent:

If the repair is not considered to be urgent, make a request in writing and request when you would like them completed by.

The NSW Fair Trading websites lists the following that tenants are considered to be responsible for the following:

  • replacing light bulbs
  • changing the smoke detector batteries
  • cleaning windows
  • dusting
  • removing cobwebs
  • routine garden maintenance such as watering, mowing and weeding.
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Queensland


Emergency repairs:

Once again, what the Residential Tenancies Authority in Queensland defines as an emergency (urgent equivalent) is very similar to New South Wales and Victoria. They are:

  • A burst water service or a serious water service leak
  • A blocked or broken toilet
  • A serious roof leak
  • A gas leak
  • A dangerous electrical fault
  • Flooding or serious flood damage
  • Serious storm, fire or impact damage
  • A failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
  • A failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance on the property for hot water, cooking or heating
  • A fault or damage that makes the property unsafe or insecure
  • A fault or damage likely to injure a person, damage property or unduly inconvenience a tenant

A serious fault in a staircase, lift or other common area of the property that unduly inconveniences a tenant in gaining access to, or using, the property.

Routine:

For routine repairs, your best course of action is to inform the person managing the property of any required repairs in writing.

Timeframes will generally vary depending on the nature of the repair request.

Tenants should never carry out any repairs on the property unless they receive written permission from the property manager or owner.

Be in the know
Understanding your rights as a tenant is a mainstay of renting life. Be aware of the laws that govern you and look for any updates that may come about through law changes.

At Little Real Estate, our property managers strive to have a comprehensive understanding all things property, whether tenant or investor related. Contact us today for any inquiries you have about the property market.

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