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Keeping on Top of Repairs so Nothing Goes Wrong?
While landlords and tenants both have some share in the responsibility for keeping a rental property in a good condition, landlords have the main responsibility and are legally required to maintain their properties. If you don't meet Healthy Home Standards or fail to complete repairs in a timely manner the Tenancy Tribunal can issue a work order against you, requiring you to complete the work within a set time frame or face fines.
How Much Can You Be Fined for Not Completing Repairs?
The Tribunal can issue fines for up to $7,200 in 'exemplary damages'. A fine may be incurred for “failing to meet obligations in respect of cleanliness, maintenance, smoke alarms, the Healthy Homes Standards, or buildings, health, and safety requirements”.
Do You Need to Continue to Comply with Healthy Homes?
Complying with Healthy Homes regulations is an ongoing responsibility. From July 1, 2021, it became mandatory for all private residential properties to comply with the full list of Healthy Homes regulations within 120 days of any new, or renewed, tenancy. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure your property continues to comply with these standards.
Frank Xing, from Quality House Inspections Ltd, explains: “Properties need to be maintained, the condition of a property may change for a variety of reasons, and areas that were initially compliant may become non-compliant."
Areas of specific concern include chimneys, heat pumps, kitchen rangehoods, bathroom extractor fans, gutters and draught stopping.
Read more: Healthy Homes: Once You’ve Complied Once Do You Need to Comply Again?
Are House Inspections Important?
Completing regular house inspections is one important aspect to ensuring you are always on top of repairs. Maintenance issues are typically identified during inspections. If you fail to complete regular inspections it is possible your rental property may fall below legal standards.
If a tenant believes their landlord hasn't complied with the Standards, they can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a mediation and/or hearing. The Tenancy Tribunal has the ability to order a landlord to undertake work and impose a financial penalty that is normally payable to the tenant.
Read more: What Can Go Wrong If You Don’t Carry Out House Inspections?
What is the Importance of a Property Maintenance Plan?
A seasonal property maintenance plan is a helpful tool to ensure your property is up to scratch all year round. Finding out how to create a rental property maintenance plan and understanding what maintenance jobs to do each season can help you keep ahead of essential maintenance.
Being a Good Landlord
While The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) governs landlord/tenant relationships, being a successful landlord isn’t just about staying within the law.
Landlords who communicate well, attend to maintenance jobs promptly, provide a warm and dry home and respect their tenants’ right to the quiet enjoyment of their property are likely to have happier tenants who choose to stay - a positive outcome for everyone.
Find out How To Retain Good Tenants
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