Urgent Repairs Under New South Wales Law

Repairs are a frustrating aspect of being a landlord, but the costs of not having something attended to immediately can be even higher. If you are renting out a property in Toongabbie, you need an agent who responds quickly to your property repair requests.

Under NSW law, the landlord and tenant share responsibility for maintenance and repair. Minor tasks, such as cleaning cobwebs or windows, are often the tenant’s responsibility. The landlord or agent is responsible for the safe running of hot water systems, the maintenance of smoke alarms, and fixing plumbing or electrical issues.

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Leaving repairs unattended will cause more significant problems down the track. A solid relationship between tenant and landlord can lead to agreements that save both parties money and headaches. Engaging the services of a quality real estate agent can assist in maintaining such relationships.

By encouraging your tenant to let you know about even smaller issues, you can prevent the property from requiring urgent repairs in the future. These repairs are often expensive, especially if you do not address them in time.

Some common urgent repairs include:

  • broken or blocked toilets,
  • leaking gas or water,
  • roof leaking,
  • breakdown of hot water, stove, or heating,
  • broken door locks,
  • and damage that makes the property unsafe.

Under section 64 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, tenants may have the right to arrange for the work to be completed themselves if the landlord has not addressed the issue in a timely manner. They can contact the nominated tradesperson according to the lease agreement and arrange to have the repairs done as soon as possible. If a nominated company isn’t included in the lease agreement or is unable to attend to the repairs in a timely manner, the tenant may hire any other certified tradesperson. They have no responsibility to seek the lowest price.

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After repairs, the tenant provides details of the repair and receipts to the landlord. The landlord must reimburse up to $1000 of the cost within 14 days of receiving this notice. If costs exceed $1000, the tenant may also apply to the Tribunal for an urgent hearing to ensure the landlord reimburses the total amount.

If the damage that requires urgent repair is not fixed, it might also damage the tenants’ property. The landlord may be liable to pay compensation for this as well. A recent case in the Tribunal saw a landlord having to pay thousands of dollars to compensate for damage to tenant property after not properly addressing mould issues.

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Urgent repairs due to damage caused by a tenant still need to be addressed immediately. However, the landlord may then seek reimbursement from the tenant for this repair. At no time can the tenant refuse to pay rent during this process. To avoid some of the drastic repercussions of delaying an urgent repair, it is important to use a real estate agent who can respond quickly to tenants and arrange with trusted tradespeople to provide cost-effective repairs to your property. Contact us today to explore how we can help with your property management needs.

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