Fact Sheet 11: Rental provider must pay renter back for cost of urgent repairs within seven days

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This page is about changes to Victoria's renting laws that have not happened yet. They will be in place by 1 January 2021.

For information on current laws, view our Renting section.

Changes to renting laws mean that rental providers (landlords) must pay renters back for urgent repairs within seven days of them claiming the cost of repairs.

If a renter requests urgent repairs to their rental property and the rental provider does not immediately carry out the urgent repairs, the renter can arrange the urgent repairs themselves.

If a renter arranges the urgent repairs, they must give the rental provider a written notice of the repairs, including the cost.

Rental providers must pay back the cost of the repairs to the renter within seven days of receiving the written notice.

This applies to urgent repairs to all rental properties including rooming houses, caravans, caravan park sites and residential park sites.

What is an urgent repair?

Urgent repairs are listed in the rental laws and include serious faults that impact on safety and use of the property, such as burst water pipe, gas leak, blocked toilet, and dangerous electrical faults.

Is there a limit to how much a renter can claim back for the cost of an urgent repair?

A renter can claim up to a set amount. Community consultation on the set amount finished in late 2019 on the Engage Victoria website. The final amount will be in the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2020, which will be made before 1 January 2021.

What happens if the rental provider does not pay back the cost of repairs?

If a rental provider does not pay back the cost of the repairs within seven days, a renter may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to order the rental provider to pay.

These changes to urgent repairs also apply to rooming houses, caravans, caravan park sites and residential park sites.