As a responsible tenant you should never ignore when repairs to your rental property are required. Here’s what you need to know about requesting repairs.
Your rental property will likely require repairs at some stage during your tenancy. You should contact your property manager for all repair requests, however it’s important to understand the difference between an urgent and non-urgent repair.
What is an urgent repair?
Urgent repairs refer to any damage that is potentially dangerous or unsafe, such as a gas leak or electrical fault, or anything that may cause significant damage to the property, like a broken water pipe or storm damage.
What is a non-urgent repair?
Non-urgent repairs refer to any damage that does not present any immediate danger or safety issues. They include repairs to minor cosmetic damage such as peeling paint, chipped tiles or broken appliances.
What’s the process?
All repair requests should be put to your property manager in writing and state whether you believe it is an urgent or non-urgent repair. Landlords are required to respond quickly to all urgent repair requests. If your request for an urgent repair is ignored, you can authorise and pay for the repair yourself (up to a value of $1800) then issue a notice to your landlord requesting they pay you back for the repairs. If a dispute arises, you can take your case to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for remediation.
So who pays?
All repairs are the responsibility of the landlord. However, if you’ve caused damage beyond reasonable wear and tear you may be asked to pay for the repairs. If you feel you that you’ve been unfairly asked to pay for repairs you can take your case to VCAT for review.
How do you make a complaint?
If your landlord fails to supply you with the required documentation at the beginning of your lease, tries to illegally evict you, seizes your property to cover outstanding rent, fails to lodge your bond with Residential Tenancies Bond Authority, or tries to enter the property without providing sufficient prior notice, you may be entitled to make an official complaint.
To make a complaint, or for more information about your rights, contact Consumer Affairs Victoria’s Estate Agent Resolution Service on 1300 737 030.
The following advice is of a general nature and intended as an opinion and broad guide. For all legal, financial or real estate advice you should obtain independent professional advice to do with the specific nature of your circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.