Urgent repairs include:
- a burst water service or a serious water service leak
- a blocked or broken toilet
- a serious roof leak
- a gas leak
- an electrical fault
- flooding or serious flood damage
- serious storm or fire damage
- a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the property
- a failure or breakdown of the hot water service
- a failure or breakdown of the stove or oven
- a failure or breakdown of a heater or air-conditioner
- a fault or damage which makes the property unsafe or insecure.
Smoke alarms must also be repaired urgently to ensure they are working. A smoke alarm is considered not working if it:
- is removed (and not replaced with a working smoke alarm)
- does not work (e.g. because the battery needs to be replaced)
- is malfunctioning (e.g. due to accumulated dust, insects, airborne contaminants and corrosion of electrical circuitry).
If the tenant cannot contact the landlord or agent, or if the landlord does not carry out urgent repairs within a reasonable time, the tenant can:
- refer to the tenancy agreement for the details of a nominated tradesperson to contact (if any)
- arrange for the work to be completed, and
- be reimbursed, up to $1,000 by the landlord.
The landlord is only required to reimburse the tenant’s costs if:
- the need for the urgent repair was not the tenant’s fault
- they contacted the landlord or agent about the problem or made a reasonable attempt to do so
- they gave the landlord or agent a reasonable opportunity to get the repairs done, and the repairs were carried out by a licensed tradesperson (if appropriate).