Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

What to Do When Your Landlord Won't Make Repairs

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

What to Do When Your Landlord Won't Make Repairs

Article excerpt

Damage and repairs are facts of life in rental properties. With potentially dozens of renters calling a property home throughout its life as a rental, it's inevitable that things will break down, fall apart or need replacing.

But what happens when the landlord refuses to make repairs?

While the rules and advice can differ from state to state, there are some common guidelines you should follow to ensure your house is returned to a liveable state as quickly as possible.

Here are some of the options available to you.

Who is responsible for the issue?

It's important to first understand who's responsible for any damage in a rental property: You or the landlord.

As the tenant, you're expected to keep the property clean and tidy, and you're generally responsible for fixing anything that you damage during the course of your tenancy.

However, you're best to notify the landlord if you've damaged something, and work with them to fix it, rather than attempting to have the work done yourself.

Landlords, on the other hand, are responsible for fixing any part of the property that has broken down or fallen into disrepair through age, malfunction or general wear and tear.

Keep contacting the landlord & create a paper trail

If you've tried contacting the landlord or agent but have received no response, don't stop there.

Continue trying to contact them, and document those attempts by saving emails, text messages, phone records and photos, in case you need them at a later date.

Contact your state's consumer affairs body

Tenants Union of Victoria spokeswoman Devon LaSalle says for non-urgent repairs, renters should immediately write to their landlord to notify them of the repairs required, but if those notifications go unactioned, they should write to their state's consumer affairs body.

"If the repairs have not been completed within 14 days, they can put in a request to Consumer Affairs Victoria for a report to be created about the repairs and sent to the landlord or agent," LaSalle says.

Apply to a tribunal

Should that report still fail to yield a resolution, in most states you can apply to a tribunal to try to force the landlord to act. …

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