Non-urgent repairs should be done within 14 days of you reporting them to the landlord. If the landlord does not deal with the repairs in this time you can follow the steps below.
Asking for non-urgent repairs
Before you start
Check if it’s urgent or non-urgent. If it’s urgent you can get repairs done a lot quicker if you follow the steps for urgent repairs.
TIP: Don’t do non-urgent repairs yourself and don’t book anyone else to do non-urgent repairs unless the landlord has agreed to pay for it and you have that in writing – including the amount of money they will pay and when this will be paid.
Step 1. Contact the landlord or agent – put it in writing
If repairs are needed you need to let the landlord or agent know.
Sometimes all you need to do is make a call and tell the landlord or agent what needs to be fixed. But even if it sounds like things will be fixed without you having to do anything more, we always recommend you follow up in writing. That way you’ll have proof of when you reported the problem in case you need to take further action later.
Some agents might ask you to fill in their maintenance/repair form, and that’s fine provided you get to keep a copy of this.
Otherwise you could send an email or write a letter or use the official Notice to landlord of rented premises or Notice for breach of duty to landlord forms available on the Consumer Affairs website.
Whatever method you use make sure you include:
- what needs to be fixed;
- when you reported the problem (or when you attempted to report it if you couldn’t get in touch with your landlord or agent);
- what the landlord said they would do; and
- make sure you ask for the repairs to be done within 14 days.
TIP: Using the official form is a good way to make sure you include all important details. And it might get the landlord to do the repairs sooner.
- Landlord’s name – Make sure you write the landlord’s name on the form and not the name of the real estate agent. If you don’t know the landlord’s name check your lease or ask the agent. If you live in public housing the landlord is the “Director of Housing”.
- Landlord’s address – It’s okay to write the agent’s address on the form.
- Tenant/s name/s – You can write one or more tenant’s name here.
- Rented premises – Write the address where the repairs are needed.
- Reason for notice – At the beginning of the form there are common reasons and section numbers that you can copy and paste into the reason section. Choose the one for “non-urgent repairs”. Then all you have to do is write down the repairs that are needed.
Step 2. Keep notes
Keep a list of the telephone numbers, times and dates you called and who you spoke to as well as any other steps you took to contact the landlord or agent, for example a maintenance form, email, Notice to landlord or Notice for breach of duty form or letter.
TIP: If calling from a mobile phone a screenshot of your call log could be a good way to keep a record of your calls.
Step 3. Take photos or video
It’s a good idea to take photos. These can help show what the problem is, and can also be useful later if the repairs are not done, or things get worse, and you need to take further action. Sometimes a video might be more helpful if photos don’t really show what the problem is (like a sliding cupboard door that doesn’t work).
Step 4. Keep copies for yourself
You can copy, scan or take a photo of anything you want to give to the landlord, such as a letter or notice to landlord form and photos showing the repairs needed. Make sure the copies are good enough that you can read everything clearly, and keep them safe in case you need them later.
Step 5. Give the notice to the landlord
TIP: Do this as soon as possible
When you are reporting the problem in writing, whether by maintenance form, letter, email or the official forms: Notice to landlord of rented premises or Notice for breach of duty to landlord (available on the Consumer Affairs website), you should get this to the landlord or agent as soon as possible, along with any photos or other evidence you can provide.
The landlord needs to attend to non-urgent repairs within 14 days of being notified of the problem, so the quicker you notify them in writing the better.
We recommend you hand-deliver or send these by registered post. If hand delivering, write down the date, time and name of the person you handed it to. If sending by registered post, keep your receipt and tracking number and allow extra time for delivery. See Australia Post delivery times.
If you want to notify the landlord or agent by email, there are a few things to watch out for:
- You can only send notices by email if the landlord or agent has agreed. So it’s a good idea for you to have something in writing from the landlord or agent that says they agree to you sending notices by email.
- You can only send notices to the email address they have agreed to. Because landlords and agents might have more than one email address, it’s important that you have something in writing from them that says exactly which email address you can send notices to.
- You won’t know if they have received it. So you can ask them to reply to confirm they have received your email or you could set up a “read-receipt” on the email you send (this can send an automatic reply if they okay it) or you could call them to find out if they have received it.
Step 6. Check if you can get compensation
You might be able to get compensation from the landlord because they didn’t do the repairs or took too long to do them.
TIP: If you tell the landlord that you are going to claim compensation, it might even get them to do the repairs sooner.
You can either claim compensation at the same time as asking for the repairs or wait until the repairs are done. To find out if you can get compensation and what you need to do, see compensation.
What happens next?
The landlord must get non-urgent repairs done within 14 days.
If the landlord tells you that you have to wait because no-one is available to do the repairs, you can try calling around and let the landlord know if you find a tradesperson who can do the repairs.
If the repairs are not done after 14 days, or if the repairs done are not good enough, see inspection for non-urgent repairs.