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Rental Property under Lease -Who Fixes It?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Lucy B, 9 April 2014.

  1. Lucy B

    Lucy B Member

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    I’m renting a property in North Melbourne, 5 months into a 12-month lease. The toilet has been leaking water from the base for the past 3 weeks. Its not flooding, but its a consistent problem that I have to mop up. I initially called my landlord and he said he’d get around to getting it fixed. I sent him a follow up text a few days ago, but he hasn’t responded. How do I get my landlord to make repairs? What are my rights as a tenant?
     
  2. Phil M

    Phil M Member

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    Hi Lucy,
    You’re absolutely within your rights to ask your landlord to repair the toilet/get a plumber to check it out. It sounds like its a non-urgent item that needs to be repaired.

    If that’s the case, then put your request in writing using a ‘Notice to landlord of rented premises’ form advising your landlord what needs to be repaired. Keep a copy of the letter. You will then need to give your landlord 14 days to carry out the repairs.

    If your landlord doesn’t carry out, or refuses to do, the repairs within that 14-day period, you can:
    - send Consumer Affairs Victoria a copy of the written notice, and
    - ask Consumer Affairs to inspect the property and fill out a report (through a letter or using a ‘Request for repairs inspection or rent assessment’ form).

    If your landlord hasn't done the repair work within 60 days after the Consumer Affairs inspection and report, you can go to VCAT to order your landlord to do the repairs.

    Consumer Affairs also has a ‘Rent Right’ app that you may find useful for the future.
     
  3. rebeltrooper

    rebeltrooper Member

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    Hi Lucy
    I've read about your plight. I know this might be a bit late, but I do hope this helps you some. This is current legislation that all and sundry should know about and has power if it's used correctly.
    Best wishes and good luck

    Residential Tenancies Act 1997 Victoria

    Section 68. Landlord's duty to maintain premises
    Subsection (1)
    A landlord must ensure that the rented premises are maintained in good repair.


    Section 69. Landlord must ensure replacement water appliances have "A" rating

    A landlord must ensure that if an appliance, fitting or fixture provided by the landlord that uses or supplies water at the rented premises needs to be replaced, the replacement has at least an A rating


    Section-74. Application to Director to investigate need for non-urgent repairs

    Sub-section (1) A tenant may apply to the Director to investigate whether the landlord is in breach of a duty to ensure that the premises are maintained in good repair if—
    Sub-paragraph (a) the tenant has given the landlord written notice advising the landlord that repairs (other than urgent repairs) are required to the rented premises; and
    Sub-paragraph (b) the landlord has not carried out the repairs within 14 days after being given the notice.

    Sub-section (2) An application under sub-section (1) must be in writing.

    Sub-section (3) On an application under sub-section (1), the Director—
    Sub-paragraph (a) must investigate;
    and
    Sub-paragraph (b) may negotiate arrangements for the carrying out of repairs if the Director is satisfied that the landlord is in breach of the duty to maintain the rented premises in good repair;
    and
    Sub-paragraph (c) must give a written report to the tenant.


    Section-75. Application to Tribunal for non-urgent repairs
    Subsection-(1
    ) A tenant may apply to the Tribunal for an order requiring the landlord to carry out specified repairs if—
    Subparagraph-(a) the tenant has received the report of the Director under section 74; and
    Subparagraph-(b) the tenant is still of the view that satisfactory arrangements have not been made for the carrying out of the repairs.

    Subsection-(2) An application under sub-section (1) must be made within 28 days of receiving the report of the Director under section 74.

    Subsection-(3) The tenant must include a copy of the Director's report under section 74 in the application under sub-section (1).

    Subsection-(4) The Registrar must give a copy of the Director's report included in the application under subsection-(1) to the landlord with the notice of hearing given under Part 11.

    Subsection-(5) A tenant may apply to the Tribunal for an order requiring the landlord to carry out specified repairs without the report of the Director under Section-74 if the tenant has not received that report within 90 days after the tenant applied for that report.


    Section-76. What can the Tribunal order?

    Subsection-(1) The Tribunal may make an order requiring the landlord to carry out specified repairs if it is satisfied that the landlord is in breach of the duty to maintain the rented premises in good repair.

    Subsection-(2) The order must specify the repairs and the time within which they must be carried out.
     

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