Emergency repairs and rentals

Every rental property will need repairs and maintenance over the course of its life, but occasionally the repair required might be more urgent.

Classed as an emergency repair, these are situations where the problem needs to be fixed pronto in order to retain the livability, safety and security of the property.

So what exactly is an emergency repair and how are they handled?

Routine versus emergency repairs

Regardless of whether a property is new or old, maintenance and repairs are all part of maintaining the value of an investment.

Most of the time these repairs will be routine or proactive. They will involve fixing small issues as they arise or undertaking work so something about the home doesn’t become an issue in the future.

These are known as routine repairs. They’re not urgent, but they keep the property in tip top condition.

Examples of routine repairs might include fixing a dishwasher that persistently throws an error code, replacing a broken blind, or having a plumber look at a tap that constantly drips.

Meanwhile, routine maintenance is preventative. It might involve having gutters cleaned once a year, so water doesn’t back up and flow into the house or the gutters don’t rust.

It could also extend to things like oiling the decks around the property, so they don’t deteriorate and still look good.

Emergency repairs, on the other hand, are a slightly different story. They relate to specific urgent issues that arise at a property which might impact its safety, security or the renter’s ability to inhabit the home.

Typical emergency repairs

Although the legislation varies from state to state, emergency repairs tend to encompass specific issues that affect the livability, safety or security of the property.

In broad terms they include:

  • A burst or broken hot water service
  • A blocked or broken toilet system
  • A serious roof leak
  • A gas leak
  • A dangerous electrical fault
  • Flooding or serious flood damage
  • Serious storm or fire damage
  •  A failure or breakdown of any essential service for hot water, cooking, heating or laundering
  • A failure or breakdown of gas, electricity or water supply
  • Any fault or damage that makes the rented property unsafe or unsecure
  • A serious fault in a lift or staircase in the rented premises.

How to handle emergency repairs

If any of the above listed emergencies occur in a rental property, the first port of call is your property manager.

If it’s during standard operating hours, simply give your property management department a call, and if it’s outside business hours, contact the agency’s emergency property management number to advise them of the situation.

By law, your property manager is required to have these problems remedied as a matter of urgency and will liaise with you to have the issue resolved as quickly as possible.

If the situation is extreme and you cannot reach the property manager, most state and territory laws also state the renter has the right to have the issue fixed and then be reimbursed up to a set value for the cost of the repair.

This value varies so it’s worth checking the legislation that’s relevant to your property, and remember, prior to making any emergency repair, you need to make a concerted effort to speak with your property manager first.

How we can help

Our experienced property managers pride themselves on establishing great relationships with both rental occupiers and owners.

We manage every property as if it were our own and you can learn more about our property management services here.

Alternatively, if you are looking to rent a property, you can view the properties we currently have available here.