Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Maintenance a Must for Landlords

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Maintenance a Must for Landlords

Article excerpt

IN Australia, it is not uncommon for rental price rises to overtake both average wage rises and house price rises.

For example, the national average price of rent between 2002 and 2012 increased by 75.8 per cent for houses and 91.8% for other dwellings (mostly apartments).

House prices went up by 69% and average earnings by 57% in the same 10-year period.

When leasing a property in Australia, the onus is on owners to make sure the property meets the standards of their State's Tenancies Act and properties should be habitable and in good condition.

The best times to schedule maintenance are when the property is vacant, just before a tenant moves in; and when the lease is renewed.

Landlords need to make sure the locks are intact and doors are secure.

The tenant must look after the property by keeping it clean and free from damage; however, the landlord should also expect "fair wear and tear", which is normal deterioration from daily use.

A tenant must notify the landlord of the need for an emergency repair, but if they cannot be contacted, the tenant can contact a nominated repairer, who should be listed on the tenancy agreement.

Otherwise, the tenant can pay a repairer (as a guide, not more than the value of two weeks' rent) and get the money back from the property owner.

Emergency situations include:

a serious water leak

a blocked toilet

a serious roof leak

a gas leak

a dangerous electrical fault

serious flood damage

serious storm, fire or impact damage

breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply

no hot water, cooking or heating

any damage that makes the property unsafe or insecure

damage which could injure a person

a serious fault in a staircase or lift that restricts a tenant from gaining access. …

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