Renting

Who is responsible for repairs?

The property manager/owner is responsible for ensuring the property is fit to live in and in a good state of repair. The tenant must notify them of any repairs needed.

If a tenant, or their guest, damages the property, they may have to pay for repairs.

Example 1. If a tenant breaks a window by throwing a ball through it, they are responsible and have to pay for repairs.

Example 2. If a window falls out of the frame, and breaks, due to ageing putty that may be fair wear and tear and the property manager/owner may have to pay.

The property manager/owner generally carries out any repairs or organises someone to do so.

There are 2 kinds of repairs:

  • routine, and
  • emergency (general tenancies only).

The property manager/owner must carry out repairs within a reasonable time and comply with the entry rules.

There are no rules about emergency repairs in rooming accommodation (apart from entry rules) and the tenant must not arrange emergency repairs.

Routine repairs

  • it is best to inform the property manager/owner of required repairs in writing
  • timeframes for repairs vary depending on the circumstances (e.g. availability of tradespeople) and the type of repairs needed
  • the tenant should not carry out repairs without written permission

Property manager/owner does not carry out routine repairs

  • If the problem has not been fixed, the tenant should try to resolve the issue by talking to the property manager/owner.
  • If routine repairs are not organised within a reasonable time, the tenant can issue the property manager/owner with a Notice to remedy breach (Form 11) giving them 7 days to fix the problem. Rooming accommodation tenants use Notice to remedy breach (Form R11) giving the property manager/owner 5 days to fix the problem.
  • If the problem cannot be resolved the RTA’s dispute resolution service may be about to help.
  • The tenant should never stop paying rent to ensure repairs are made. Non-payment of rent is a breach of the agreement.

Emergency repairs

The tenant should contact the property manager/owner or the nominated repairer (listed on the tenancy agreement) about the problem. It is a good idea to put the request in writing as evidence of notification.

If they cannot be contacted, the tenant can arrange for a qualified person to carry out emergency repairs to a maximum value of 2 weeks rent.

Emergency repairs 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.

All other repairs are considered routine repairs.

Paying for emergency repairs

If the tenant pays the repairer they need to give all receipts to the property manager/owner who must pay them back within 7 days.

Alternatively, the tenant may ask the property manager/owner to pay the repairer directly.

Disagreement about emergency repairs

If the tenant and property manager/owner do not agree about the emergency repair, or if the tenant has not been reimbursed for repairs within 7 days, they can apply to QCAT for a decision