Emergency contact for urgent repairs only
According to the Residential Tenancies Act, urgent repairs are those necessary to supply or restore an essential service, or to avoid:
- Exposing a person to the risk of injury
- Exposing the property to damage
- Causing you undue hardship/inconvenience
You must inform the Lessor/Portfolio Manager of any urgent repairs as soon as possible. The Lessor/Portfolio Manager is required to arrange (not necessarily complete) repairs to essential services within 24 hours and address urgent repairs within 48 hours.
Essential services are urgent repairs that include the following:
- functioning refrigerator (if supplied with the premises);
- sewerage/septic/other waste water treatment; and
- water including the supply of hot water.
If despite making reasonable attempts, you cannot contact the Lessor/Portfolio Manager, or you contact them and they take no action, you can have the minimum repairs carried out by a qualified tradesperson and claim back the costs. The urgent repair costs must be reasonable and it is advisable to obtain some evidence showing the need for the urgent repair was not your fault, otherwise you may be charged for this cost. For example, you could ask the tradesperson to write on the invoice an explanation of the cause of the problem. As soon as possible after the repairs are carried out, the lessor/property manager must reimburse you for any reasonable expenses you have incurred.