Western Australia Repairs and Maintenance

The landlord is generally responsible for any repairs or maintenance to the premises that are needed during the tenancy. The tenant should notify the landlord as soon as possible if repairs are necessary. The tenant can also conduct urgent repairs themselves if required.

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?

Who is responsible for general repairs and maintenance?

The landlord is under a general obligation to both provide and maintain the rented premises in a reasonable state of repair relative to its age and original character.

There are a number of important things to remember about this obligation:

  • the obligation applies to providing the premises in a reasonable state of repair - this means that the landlord must conduct repairs to any defect that would be noticeable on inspection by the landlord at the beginning of the tenancy.
  • the obligation also applies to maintaining the premises in a reasonable state of repair - this means that the landlord must conduct repairs to any defects which they are notified of by the tenant during the course of the tenancy. Once notified by the tenant, the landlord must carry out the repairs within a reasonable period.
  • reasonable state of repair is not just about safety, but also requires that the premises be fit for use as a residence by the tenant. Good practice is for the landlord to keep the premises in the same or a better state of repair than it was in at the beginning of the tenancy. This applies to all parts of the premises rented to the tenant.
  • the landlord is not responsible for disrepair to the property caused by the tenant.
  • the landlord is generally responsible for structural repairs to the premises such as repairing roofs, walls, doors, floors, or utility services like water or electricity supply.
  • the tenant is generally responsible for repairs to consumable products such as washers, globes, and batteries.
  • the premises must be safe for use as a premises by the tenant, i.e. there must not be anything in the premises that might pose danger of illness or injury to the tenant.

What about urgent repairs?

Urgent repairs include any of the following:

  • repairs to restore any of the following services/utilities:
    • gas
    • electricity
    • water (including hot water)
    • functioning refrigerator (if provided with premises)
    • sewerage (including septic tank)
  • repairs necessary to prevent exposing any person to a risk of injury
  • repairs necessary to prevent damage to property
  • repairs necessary to prevent the tenant experiencing undue hardship or inconvenience

If urgent repairs are necessary, the tenant must notify the landlord as soon as possible. Once notified, the landlord must then ensure that the repairs are carried out as soon as possible by someone properly qualified to do so.

The tenant can arrange for urgent repairs to be carried out by a properly qualified person under two circumstances:

  1. Cannot contact Landlord—if the tenant cannot make contact with the landlord within 24 hours for repairs to restore services/utilities, and within 48 hours for all other urgent repairs.
  2. Repairs not performed as soon as possible—if the landlord fails to arrange for a properly qualified person to conduct the repairs as soon as possible.

If the tenant does arrange for the repairs and bears the initial costs, the landlord must reimburse the tenant as soon as possible.

Back to Western Australia Rights and Obligations during the Tenancy

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.