When your rental needs major repairs.


Every rental property will require the occasional routine maintenance and repairs, but what if those repairs are major?

Perhaps it’s a pool that needs resurfacing, balustrading that needs reinstating or a roof that needs replacement.

These are the types of jobs that might cause significant disruption to the property occupants, so how do you handle major repairs that are necessary for the property, while also looking after the rights and needs of the people paying good money to live there?

Is there a window of opportunity?

Ideally major repairs would be undertaken when a property is vacant between rental agreements, but in the real world that’s not always possible.

In fact, the rental occupier might be more than happy to remain at the property during a major repair, so long as the owner and property manager work with them.

A key example

Say for example a roof has been leaking for some time, despite all efforts to repair it. In this instance the best course of action might be a roof replacement, which is no small job.

However, both the occupant and the owner know this is essential work that needs to be completed, and the occupier would likely understand the benefits of having a watertight home after the replacement is done.

In this case, it’s a matter of all parties working together to allow access to the site, minimise disruption and simply get the job done.

Work with the occupier

When a major repair is required during a rental agreement, it’s a matter of working with the rental occupier to ensure they are kept in the loop, understand the timeframe and scope of the work required, and can make any adjustments necessary to their routine.

Good communication is key here. Using the above example, the job might require scaffolding to be erected, transpeople might need to park in the driveway, and there could be significant noise involved.

Best practice would see the rental occupier notified well in advance including being given information on the expected duration of the work and how it could potentially impact them.

Concessions might also need to be made, with work only taking place during set hours that cause minimum disruption.

A little give and take

Like anything, undertaking significant works at a rental property during an agreement is all about give and take.

If those works are likely to significantly impact the occupier, perhaps a rent discount might be warranted, or maybe they should be given a week free of paying rent.

These types of concessions, along with an appreciation of the occupier’s circumstances, go a long way to forging great relationships with the people who call your property home.

They indicate their needs are considered and their role as the ‘custodian’ of your property is valued.

Communication is key

Ultimately major repairs are about preserving the value and livability of a big financial asset.

If there is good communication which keeps the rental occupier in the loop, there’s a greater likelihood they will happily work with the property manager, tradespeople and owner to assist.

And in the end, that’s a win-win for everybody. The property is improved, the rental occupier is valued and the necessary works can be completed.

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.