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What happens when you report a maintenance request will depend on what is to be repaired, how it happened and who actually owns the property.

It is your responsibility as a tenant is to report any relevant repairs to your housing provider as soon as possible. This is particularly important if there is likely to be further damage if the repair is not completed quickly.

Emergency repairs

The Residential Tenancy Act 2010 requires that all emergency repairs be completed within 24 hours of your reporting them to your housing provider. Not all emergency repairs can be completed immediately, in which case a temporary repair will be carried out. An emergency repair is defined in the Residential Tenancy Act as a:

  • Burst water service
  • Blocked or broken lavatory system
  • Serious roof leak
  • Gas leak
  • Dangerous electrical fault
  • Flooding or serious flood damage
  • Serious storm or fire damage
  • Failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the premises
  • Failure or breakdown of any essential service on the premises for hot water, cooking, heating, cooling or laundering
  • Fault or damage that cause the premises to be unsafe or not secure

Day-to-day maintenance

The Residential Tenancy Act does not describe non-emergency repairs and does not provide any guidelines as to when they should be completed. However, in many cases, community housing providers operate a priority system that allows them to distinguish between urgent and non-urgent repairs and to respond accordingly. In most cases, the level of discomfort/disruption the repair causes the tenant determines the priority, as does the potential damage to the property if it is not attended to.

If your property is leased from a private landlord, your housing provider will notify them of any repairs that are needed. Your housing provider will already have agreed an appropriate time frame for the completion of works. If you are having any difficulties, you should speak to your housing provider.

Planned maintenance

The quality of all properties deteriorates over time as a result of normal wear and tear and because of ageing. Consequently, all community housing providers are required to develop plans for the long-term maintenance of their properties. This ensures that the properties they manage are maintained at an appropriate standard for the whole of their useful life. Some repairs you may wish to report will be carried out as part of these planned maintenance.

If you have any concerns about the condition of your property please contact your housing provider directly.

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