The ins and outs of rental repairs

Regardless of the age of a rental property, every now and then repairs will be needed. Some might be urgent, while others might be more routine and require more time to finalise.

So, let’s look at the process involved including the ins and outs of rental repairs.

Urgent or non-urgent?

When it comes to rental repairs, they fall under two general categories; those which are urgent, and routine repairs, which still need to be made, but might take more time.

Urgent repairs are classed as those which impact the safety or livability of the property and, as the Residential Tenancy Authority in Queensland explains, include things like:

  • a burst water service or a serious water service leak
  • a blocked or broken toilet
  • a serious roof leak
  • a gas leak
  • a dangerous electrical fault
  • flooding or serious flood damage
  • serious storm, fire or impact damage
  • a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
  • a failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance on the property for hot water, cooking or heating
  • a fault or damage that makes the property unsafe or insecure
  • a fault or damage likely to injure a person, damage property or unduly inconvenience a tenant
  • a serious fault in a staircase, lift or other common area of the property that unduly inconveniences a tenant in gaining access to, or using, the property.

These types of repairs need to be remedied quickly to ensure the safety of the people residing at that address and to limit damage and maintain the security of the property.

All other repairs beyond this realm are generally considered routine repairs, which should be fixed in a timely manner.

When a repair is required

Regardless of whether it’s urgent or non-urgent, when a repair needs to be made, the first port of call is to notify the property manager.

Generally, it’s best if this is done by the rental occupier in writing, but in the case of an urgent repair, the property manager can also be notified over the phone.

If an emergency happens outside of general office hours, the rental occupier should call the property management department’s emergency number.

In the unlikely situation a property manager cannot be reached, the rental occupier has the right to organise an urgent repair.

In the instance of a routine repair, the rental occupier should notify the property manager and then wait for them to take action.

It’s important to also remember, the timeframe it takes to complete a routine repair can vary, depending on the nature of the issue, whether a quote is needed, and the availability of tradespeople.

However, your property manager should keep you up to date about the progress of any routine repair to a property.

Who pays for repairs?

When it comes to who pays for repairs, it depends on why something might have broken or be in need of fixing.

By law, the property manager and rental owner are responsible for any repair that is required to ensure the property is fit to live and remains in a good condition.

However, if the rental occupier has damaged the property or been negligent, they may be responsible for the cost of repairs.

For example, if a garage door has aged and become stuck, the rental owner would be responsible for remedying this issue.

But if the rental occupier backed their car into the door and it no longer opened, the onus would fall on them to pay for the repair.

The repair process

Once a property manager has been notified that something at a rental property is in need of repair, they notify the rental owner to determine what to do next.

Depending on what’s involved, this might require the property manager to send out someone to look at the problem, quote on fixing it and then set a time to remedy the matter.

Throughout, the property manager should provide the rental occupier with sufficient notice about any visits to the property.

Repairs happen

Every now and then, repairs will be needed at a rental property. It’s just a fact of life that occasionally things go wrong and need to be fixed.

When that happens it’s all about following the right process, ensuring the property manager is notified in a timely manner so they can take appropriate action.

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.