SA Residential Tenancies Act - Is Landlord Liable for Break-in?

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23 November 2016
Hi everyone,

Is the landlord of a home liable for the cost of possessions that are stolen from their tenant due to a break-in? Specifically, because the tenant was robbed due to the locks on the property not being maintained (as they are required to do - Residential Tenancies Act 1995).

They were made aware on more than one occasion about the locks not being maintained and there is proof of this. Or, is this irrelevant and the renter should have their own contents insurance to cover themselves in such an incident?

Thank you in advance.


Well-Known Member
31 October 2015
Hi, the renter is responsible for contents and insuring the contents, however if you have proof (email, formal letter) advising the landlord of the need for repair they cannot reasonable withhold maintenance. The landlord has an obligation to provide a secure property.

There are probably a few ways you can go about this but you can apply to the South Australian Civil Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) to remedy the breach of the Residential Tenancies Act and to seek compensation for your losses. Generally this is done when you want the agreement to continue but you want the issue fixed and compensation provided. I know household effects can total a significant amount and I'm not sure if the SACAT has an upper limit on compensation, so it might be worth speaking with a lawyer to ensure this is the best course of action.

Information on SACAT is here: Parties' rights disputes

If you would like to speak to a lawyer with specific knowledge on this type of issue you can find one here: