One of the most common questions we get asked is what your options are for repairs if you are trying to get in touch with your Real Estate Agent and they ignore your calls.
No one likes to be ignored but it can add an extra layer of stress if you are living in uncomfortable circumstances and feel like you have no way to rectify them. We conducted a survey across Australia and found that almost half (44%) of Australians have had a maintenance issue with a necessity like water, electricity or plumbing and the majority (65%) say they were unhappy with the response time of their Agent. 3% of those actually never had the issue rectified at all!
So, what are your options?
It is important that you first assess who is responsible for the repair. If you have damaged the property through neglect or by accident then you will be liable for the repairs. While you should still take every effort to inform the Agent of the issue, if you do not hear back then you can try to get the issue repaired yourself, be sure to engage a properly qualified person and keep all receipts.
If you believe the landlord is responsible for organising and paying for the repair….read on.
Firstly, if you are attempting to email or call your Agent directly you could try speaking to someone else at their office. Stop by in person or call the general enquiries office number to speak to a manager or another Agent that may be able to assist.
If this is unsuccessful then check your lease for your landlords contact details. It is a legal requirement that your lease lists their name and a method of direct contact (NOT a PO box) so you could try getting in touch with them directly and asking them to have the Agent call you. It is likely they are unaware of the issue and they are in a better position to get your Agent to act, they are paying for the service after all!
If the repair is urgent and the Agent has not organized for it to be assessed or fixed in the 48hours after being advised, you are within your rights to arrange to have the issue fixed yourself and reclaim the costs from your landlord. The repair must be classified as URGENT and there are cash limits on how much you can spend - your local Consumer Affairs office will be able to provide advice on this.
- Access Canberra
- NSW Fair Trading
- NT Consumer Affairs
- Office of Fair Trading Queensland
- SA Office of Consumer and Business Services (CBS)
- Tasmania Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS)
- Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
- WA Consumer Protection - Department Of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
If all the repairs are impacting your ability to enjoy the property in part or full, you are able to request a rent reduction in line with the missing services/space until it is resolved.
For FREE tailored advice you can join our Private Facebook where we have partnered with several authorities to provide advice on all things renting. Just search for Tenants/renters FREE Advice and Help Group NSW on facebook.