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Difference between urgent and non-urgent repairs

The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 distinguishes between urgent and non-urgent repairs. A non-urgent repair is any repair that falls outside the definition of an urgent repair. For a full list of urgent repairs, view our Urgent repairs page.

References below to landlords also apply to owners and agents, if one has been engaged to manage the property.

Landlords must respond to all repair requests promptly. It is important for all parties to communicate all information about repairs in writing, and to keep copies for future reference.

Responsibilities

  • The landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is maintained in good order.
  • If the tenant or resident caused the damage, the landlord can ask them to arrange and pay for repairs.
  • Landlords must respond to repair requests promptly.
  • Tenants and residents must continue paying rent even while they are waiting for repairs to be done.

For information on repairs relating to sites under a site agreement, view our Repairs under a site agreement page.

How to request a non-urgent repair

For non-urgent repairs, you must notify the landlord in writing, advising them what needs to be repaired and giving them 14 days to carry out the repairs. Include the date of your request, so it is clear when this 14-day period will expire.

You may do this in a letter or use one of our forms:

Make a repair request via our RentRight app

Tenants and residents may also request a non-urgent repair through the 'Email Property Manager' section of our free RentRight app. Tenants and residents must seek authorisation from the property manager or owner in order to communicate via electronic communications, including the service of notices generated by the app. The RentRight app is available to download from the App Store or Google Play. For more information, view our RentRight page.

If the landlord or agent does not respond

If the landlord does not carry out the repairs within 14 days, the tenant or resident may send us a:

You may also request an investigation into whether the landlord has failed in their duty to ensure that the property is maintained in good order.

Apply to VCAT for a repair order

If the landlord still does not carry out the repairs, tenants and residents have 60 days from when they receive a copy of our report to apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a repair order. Visit the Application by a tenant or landlord page on the VCAT website, or the Contact us page on the VCAT website.

Do I pay rent while waiting for repairs?

Tenants and residents must continue to pay rent or hiring charges even if the landlord has not arranged for the repairs. However, if the matter has already been heard by VCAT, the tenant or resident may apply for the rent to be paid into VCAT's Rent Special Account while the matter is sorted out.

Last updated: 05/12/2016

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