This guide covers landlords (or head-tenants) and tenants (or sub-tenants) in a Residential Tenancy. This applies to the majority of share accommodation and residential property rental situations. To confirm it covers your situation visit What is my share accommodation situation?
The landlord is under a general obligation to both provide and maintain the rented premises in a good state of repair and fit to live in. When repairs are required to maintain the premises, they are generally known as ‘routine repairs’.
If the tenant is aware that the premises or inclusions have been damaged or require maintenance, the tenant must notify the landlord as soon as possible.
There are a number of important things to remember about the landlord’s obligation:
Emergency repairs is work to repair the following: burst water service or serious water leak, blocked/broken lavatory, serious roof leak, gas leak, dangerous electrical fault, flooding/serious flood damage, breakdown of gas/electricity/water supply, breakdown of hot water, cooking or heating services/appliances, faults or damage making the premises unsafe or insecure, any fault or damage likely to injure a person, damage property or inconvenience the tenant, and a serious fault in a common area like a stairwell.
Nominated Repairer for Emergency Repairs
The landlord can nominate a person—the ‘nominated repairer’—to conduct or arrange emergency repairs to the premises or inclusions. It is recommended that the landlord do this. The landlord can nominate the person in the residential tenancy agreement, or by a separate written notice given to the tenant. The notice should state whether the emergency repairer or the landlord is the first point of contact if emergency repairs are required
Tenant to give Notice of Damage to Landlord or Emergency Repairer
When the tenant is aware that the premises requires emergency repairs, they must notify either the landlord or the emergency repairer, depending on the situation.
When the tenant must give the landlord notice:
When the tenant must give the nominated repairer notice:
After being notified, the landlord or nominated repairer must carry out the Emergency Repairs as soon as possible.
See below for what the tenant should do if they cannot contact the landlord or nominated repairer.
When the Tenant can Arrange own Emergency Repairs
The tenant can arrange for a qualified person to make Emergency Repairs or apply to the Tribunal for an order for Emergency Repairs if:
The maximum amount that the tenant can incur for emergency repairs is the equivalent of 2 weeks’ rent. The tenant can require the landlord to reimburse either the tenant or the repairer for the cost of the Emergency Repairs.
The tenant must do 3 things to require the landlord to make a reimbursement:
Resolving Problems about Emergency Repairs
If a problem or dispute arises with reimbursement for Emergency Repairs, the first step should be to discuss the problem and come to an agreed resolution. If this does not work, then either the landlord or tenant can apply to the Tribunal for an order to resolve the problem.
These legal guides provide a brief summary and introduction of the laws and regulations affecting share accommodation. They do not cover all cases in all legal jurisdictions and might not apply in your specific share accommodation situation. It is important that you use this information as a guide only and seek independent Legal Advice or consult the Relevant Acts. We do not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.