If the Landlord Fails to do Repairs

  • Keep paying your rent. Rent strikes are a breach of your tenancy agreement. The landlord may take action to end your tenancy.
  • You can apply to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal for order/s – see below.

Applying to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal for orders
You can apply for one or more of the following orders:

  • that the landlord do the repairs you have specified – apply within 3 months of the landlord failing to do
    repairs by your deadline
  • that the rent is reduced from when you told the landlord/agent about the need for the repairs until repairs are done – apply at any time before the end of the tenancy (a rent reduction is not practical for social housing tenants who receive a rent rebate)
  • that the landlord compensate you for losses you suffered because they did not do the repairs – apply within 3 months of the landlord failing to do repairs by your deadline
  • that all or part of the rent is paid to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal until the repairs are done.

Applying for an order for repairs
You must be able to show that:

  • the premises were not in reasonable repair
  • you told landlord/agent about the need for the repairs or that they ought to have reasonably known about it
  • the landlord/agent failed to act with reasonable diligence to have the repairs carried out.

Applying for a rent reduction
The Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal may make an order that the rent is or was excessive due to a reduction or withdrawal by the landlord of any goods, services or facilities provided with the premises. For example: The landlord fails to repair a brokendown hot-water system. Apply for an order that the rent was excessive for the time you were without hot water. If the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal fi nds the rent excessive, it will make an excessive rent order. It will specify:

  • the amount that the rent must not exceed
  • the day from which this maximum rent applies – for a period of up to of 12 months.

See Factsheet: Rent increases for how to prepare an excessive rent case.

Applying for compensation
You can apply for order/s that the landlord compensate you for ‘economic loss’. For example:

  • you had to spend money on take-away food because the landlord failed to fix the stove
  • your belongings are destroyed or damaged because the landlord failed to fix a leaking roof.

You may also apply for an order that the landlord compensate you for distress and disappointment (‘non-economic loss’). Contact your local TAAS for advice before doing this. You must be able to show that your loss was caused by the landlord’s failure to do repairs. The Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal may not order compensation for losses that you could have avoided by taking reasonable steps (e.g. moving your furniture from under a leaking roof).