Are You Looking After The Place? Is It The Landlord Or The Tenants Responsibility

Here at Eld­ers Real Estate we have recently had a num­ber of enquir­ies from pro­spect­ive Land­lords regard­ing repairs and main­ten­ance oblig­a­tions of the ten­ant and land­lord. The fol­low­ing inform­a­tion may be of interest gen­er­ally and is sourced from the Ten­ancy Hand­book pub­lished by the NSW Office of Fair Trading.


Repairs Landlord’s

Gen­eral Responsibilities

The land­lord must make sure that the premises is reas­on­ably clean and fit to live in at the start of the ten­ancy. The land­lord must then main­tain the premises in a reas­on­able state of repair considering:

  • the age of the premises
  • the amount of rent the ten­ant is pay­ing, and
  • the pro­spect­ive life of the premises.

This does not mean that the premises must be leased in per­fect con­di­tion, or that the land­lord must imme­di­ately attend to every small mat­ter dur­ing the ten­ancy. The state of the prop­erty and level of repair expec­ted should be in pro­por­tion to the age of the premises and the amount of rent.

 Tennant or property owner’s Responsibility?

Urgent Repairs

An urgent repair is:

  • a burst water service
  • a blocked or broken lav­at­ory system
  • a ser­i­ous roof leak
  • a gas leak
  • a dan­ger­ous 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 premises
  • a fail­ure or break­down of any essen­tial ser­vice on the premises for hot water, cook­ing, heat­ing or laundering
  • any fault or dam­age that causes the premises to be unsafe or not secure

From 1 Septem­ber 2006 ten­ants can spend up to $1,000 on urgent repairs (up from $500) and should be reim­bursed within 14 days by the land­lord. The land­lord or agent must first be given a reas­on­able oppor­tun­ity to arrange the work, or if they can­not be reached, the ten­ant should use a qual­i­fied trades­per­son nom­in­ated in the agreement.


Respons­ib­il­it­ies Of Ten­ants

Under the law the ten­ant must keep the premises in a reas­on­able state of clean­li­ness, hav­ing regard to the con­di­tion of the premises at the start of the ten­ancy. If the premises includes a yard, lawns and gar­dens, they must also be kept neat and tidy by the ten­ant. The ten­ant must not inten­tion­ally or neg­li­gently cause or per­mit dam­age to the premises. Neg­li­gence means lack of care or attention.

A ten­ant is also respons­ible for dam­age caused by other occu­pants of the premises. If you have any quer­ies about repairs and main­ten­ance, feel free to con­tact us at Eld­ers Real Estate.

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Jhai is an award win­ning Inter­net Mar­ket­ing Real Estate Agent for Eld­ers Toongab­bie and Kings Langley. After run­ning his own inter­net mar­ket­ing busi­ness he has now set his own sites for the real estate industry. He observed that 90% of real estate agents did not know how to mar­ket them­selves online. Jhai is now fixed on one goal. To teach real estate agents that they can mar­ket online so much bet­ter than they cur­rently are.

Since then he has been con­sist­ently quoted in the Sydney Morn­ing Her­ald and Real Estate Busi­ness online. He is a reg­u­lar guest blog­ger on, shar­ing his expert­ise of mar­ket­ing aspects for the Real Estate Industry. His biggest pas­sions are his wife, mar­tial arts, dogs and most of all property.

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