It is a landlord’s obligation to make sure
their tenants are living in a property where everything works.
Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate
between urgent and non-urgent repairs and can easily, lead to misunderstandings
in the tenant/landlord relationship.
It is a good idea, to have a written
procedure for emergencies, for your tenants to refer to.
The agreement should include the repairs
considered to be an emergency, what the course of action should be in the case
of an emergency and all after hours contact numbers.
It is also a good idea to include contact
details of preferred tradesmen, should you be out of contact. In this scenario,
a tenant can pay for the repairs and ask the landlord to reimburse them.
Each state and territory has a limit on
what the tenant can pay out of their own pocket.
For instance in NSW, tenants must not pay
over $1000 in emergency repairs.
You should also stipulate in the agreement,
that tenants should never hire tradesman for basic repairs, without the
Agreements need to be tailored to the
state/territory of the property and keep in mind that the regulating
authorities in each state/territory will be different. According to the NSW
Department of Fair Trading, the following constitute urgent repairs:
• Burst water service/serious water leak
• Blocked or broken toilet
• Serious roof leaks
• Gas leaks
• Dangerous electrical faults
• Flooding/serious flood damage
• Serious storm and fire damage
• Failure/breakdown of gas, electricity or
• Failure/breakdown of hot water service
• Failure/breakdown of stove/oven
• Failure/breakdown of heater/air
• Fault/damage that renders premises
Try and mitigate potential issues before they
become an emergency via regular maintenance.
Written agreements will protect you, the
tenant and your investment.
Getting these things right can save a lot
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Thursday, 9 July 2020