Repairs - How to get your landlords to do repairs
Request repairs in writing (sign, date, and keep a copy of your letter). If they fail to make repairs within the specified time, you have several options, depending on the type of repairs needed:
Write a “Notice to Remedy” to the landlord, pointing out their obligations under cl 55(1). State that the repairs are still outstanding, meaning the landlord is in breach of the lease agreement. Set a final time limit for completion of the repairs.
If the notice does not work, you can take the matter to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) seeking an order requiring the landlord to carry out the repairs within a specified time. ACAT may also order a rent reduction (see below).
If the landlord or agent refuses to respond to your request for urgent repairs, you can make an urgent application to ACAT for an order compelling the landlord
to conduct the repairs. Or you are able to authorise those repairs — but only if set procedures are followed:
If the landlord cannot be contacted, or fails to do the urgent repairs within a reasonable time, you may arrange for repairs to a maximum value of up to 5% of the rent of the property over a year (cl61).
Eg if you pay $350 per week rent, your annual rent is $18,263. You could authorise urgent repairs costing up to $913. This procedure is set out in cl62:
(a) the repairs must be made by the qualified tradesperson nominated by the landlord in your tenancy agreement;
(b) if a tradesperson hasn't been nominated, can't be contacted or is unavailable, the repairs must be performed by a qualified tradesperson of your choosing;
(c) where the repairs are arranged in accordance with these procedures, the landlord is liable for the cost of repairs and may be billed directly;(d) where you have not acted in strict compliance with these procedures you are liable for the cost of the repairs you have arranged.
Depending on the seriousness of the problem, or if it persists over a long period, you may have grounds for termination of the agreement for breach. You should get specific advice before embarking on this course of action.
Information supplied courtesy of the Tenants Union of ACT
Further information and advice for ACT tenants can be sourced from