How to Deal with Repairs and Maintenance in Your Rental Property

Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance of your rental property? Find out more here.

Who is Responsible for the Repairs and Maintenance of Your Rental Property?

Often a topic that is seen as a bit of a grey area between landlords and tenants when renting a property - Dealing with Repairs and Maintenance. But it doesn’t have to cause a headache or dispute if you’re clear about who is responsible for let’s break it down!

There are many parts to a property that may require an odd bit of repairs and/or maintenance. Things like cooling and heating systems, appliances, electricity and plumbing are all common things that we see come up once in a while.

It’s important that all repair and maintenance responsibilities are detailed in the Lease Agreement so that there’s no confusion when the time comes. It's equally as important that at the start of the lease a condition report captures the state of the property.

Throughout the lease routine inspections are typically conducted to keep track of this and you can read more about this in our guide to routine property inspections.

What Repairs and Maintenance is the Landlord Responsible for?

Prior to a tenancy starting, it’s the landlord's responsibility to provide a safe and fit living environment for their tenant, ensuring that the premises and any fixtures and fittings are compliant with the safety laws and regulations in their state. There are strict regulations around safety features like Smoke Alarms for example.

Landlords are generally responsible for most major repairs except when the tenant has caused damage to the property. If this is the case then the tenant is responsible for paying for the repairs in consultation with the landlord.

Repairs are broken down into two categories -  Urgent and Non-urgent. Urgent repairs refer to the breakdown of an essential service in the property such as the plumbing system and non-urgent repairs refer to the breakdown of non-essential services, for example, an air-conditioner. You can read more about the urgent repairs process below.

The relevant rules and regulations are available to view for each of the states and territories below.:

What Repairs and Maintenance is the Tenant Responsible for?

Generally, the tenant is responsible for general maintenance around the property. Things like keeping the property clean and tidy, changing light bulbs or batteries, putting out bins, and maintaining the garden or pool if there is one.

It is the tenant's responsibility to notify the landlord as soon as possible when a repair or maintenance issue comes up.

What is the Process for Dealing with Urgent Repairs During a Tenancy?

In all states and territories, there are rules outlining timeframes to carry out urgent or emergency repairs on a property and landlords should address these in accordance. Most states require landlords to respond immediately and attend to the urgent repair issue within a 24 timeframe and there are guidelines for when the tenant can arrange their own urgent repairs if the landlord is uncontactable.

Examples of Urgent Repairs:

  • Burst water pipes
  • Blocked/broken plumbing system
  • Serious roof leak
  • Gas leak
  • Dangerous Electrical faults
  • Flooding and flood damage
  • Fire damage
  • Serious Storm damage
  • Breakdown of gas, electricity or water supply to the premises
  • Breakdowns of an essential service like cooking or heating systems
  • Anything that results in the property becoming unsafe or not secure

The Lease Agreement should clearly state the procedure for dealing with urgent repairs such as who to contact in the event of an emergency and how to get in touch with them.

What is the Process to Request Repairs or Maintenance?

Typically, prior to getting a quote or commencing work, the landlord should have discussed the issue with their tenant. Quite often the request starts with the tenant identifying an issue, so they are usually on board with the work required.

Repairs and maintenance requests should always be made in writing so that everything is documented and tenants should report any issues to the landlord as soon as possible. In the event that an issue is spotted and not reported and it then gets worse, the tenant may be liable for further damages.

How Can RentBetter Help with Managing Repairs and Maintenance in Your Property?

On RentBetter, both you and your tenant are able to upload maintenance requests, but only you will have visibility over the full details and the maintenance jobs that you enter. Once you mark a job complete, it will automatically appear in the reporting feature.

  • Enter a new task, or review existing tasks entered by your tenant
  • Enter the details of the task, and attach receipts or relevant documents for record-keeping
  • Details of the complete maintenance expense will automatically appear in the reporting feature to have on hand when you need it

Through RentBetter you can also source trades. We partner with a platform that offers services and quotes for maintenance jobs. Just visit and you can set up an account and get quotes for your tasks.

Proper Documentation Makes for Smooth Sailing in Your Tenancy!

Ensuring that the responsibilities are clearly stated in the Lease Agreement is key to minimising any confusion. The other important step is to ensure you have completed the Property Condition Report prior to the tenant moving in so that the state of your property is recorded accurately.

Having a detailed Condition Report helps to avoid disputes as it depicts when the damage may have occurred and thus who is responsible for fixing it.

Working together, having proper documentation and clearly communicating with your tenant will help ensure smooth sailing throughout the tenancy!