How to get your property manager to act on non-urgent repairs

Getting property managers to act on repairs is a relative process, due to the nature of the repair and depending on the proactivity of renter and rental provider alike.

If you’re a renter, it’s commonly known that you must take care of the property by keeping it clean and not causing damage.

Good renters always develop a strong professional relationship with the property manager of their rental. After all, the agent or property manager is your portal to getting the repair job done quickly and effortlessly.

Showing initiative and contacting your property manager at the first sign of potential property damage is often imperative to fast-tracking the repair process.

Renter responsibilities

Tenants or renters are responsible for basic household maintenance such as: replacing light bulbs; replacing batteries in smoke alarms; and mowing the lawn.

The renter or tenant must report — to the agent, property manager or landlord/rental provider — any damage to the property that needs to be repaired, whether urgent or non-urgent.

Rental provider responsibilities

During a residential tenancy, the rental provider is responsible for keeping the property in the same state in which it was found when the tenant/renter moved in. This essentially means that maintenance and repairs (either urgent or non-urgent) should be completed as they arise.

In addition, the landlord/rental provider must respect the rights of the tenant or renter as residents of the property. Complying with all health and safety laws is also paramount towards this aim.

Importantly, the rental provider must provide reliable security with all locks in working order and supply keys for each lock.

Fix-it timeline

A landlord or rental provider usually has three to seven days to fix critical repairs, and 30 days to fix non-urgent repairs. However, these exact numbers vary depending on your specific state’s landlord-tenant/rental provider-renter laws. Waiting on your landlord/rental provider to fix repairs can be frustrating and you may feel powerless to do anything about it. Communication is the key, so keep in touch with your property manager about the repair’s progress.

What is an urgent repair?

An urgent repair is any breakage or damage that can cause serious harm to the inhabitants and property. Urgent repairs include: a burst water service or a serious water service leak; a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the property; and a failure or breakdown of the hot water service.

What is a non-urgent repair?

Fair Trading NSW classifies non-urgent repairs as damages that do not need fixing right away. For example, a broken cupboard or a cracked glass window. Write a letter to the agent or landlord explaining what needs fixing and when you would like it done. Remember that due to their contrasting nature, non-urgent repairs might not be fixed as quickly as urgent repairs. Practising patience and diplomacy, while being aware of your rights and responsibilities, always works wonders.

For further information about repairs and rentals, contact your estate agent or official representative in your state.

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