Property repairs – who is responsible for what?

We previously discussed property repairs and why maintenance matters when it comes to your investment property (if you missed this article please refer here.

Both landlords and tenants have the responsibility of maintaining a rental property. But who’s responsible for what?

General Repairs and Maintenance
Prior to the tenant moving in the landlord should ensure the property is in good condition at the start of tenancy. The property must be safe and suitable for tenants, but what is considered as acceptable and what meets a tenants standard of living could differ. Ensure that all house repairs are carried out in good order.

Property Repairs

During the tenancy the landlord is responsible for maintaining the property to an acceptable standard. All property repairs are the responsibility of the landlord except for cases where the tenant has knowingly caused the damage.

It is the responsibility of the tenants to take reasonable action to prevent any potential maintenance issues arising by keeping the premises clean, tidy and hygienic.

Tenant damage
In instances where the tenant is directly responsible for any damage caused, they are then liable for the cost of the repair and/or replacement. For example, if a window breaks after a soccer ball hits it, the tenant will have to cover the replacement costs. However, if a window breaks due to structural cracks in its frame, the landlord is responsible for replacement due to wear and tear.

The landlord’s responsibilities
As a general rule, a landlord has a responsibility to maintain a property to the standard in which the tenant accepted it.

In summary the landlord is responsible for keeping the property in good condition and fit for the tenant to live in.
The tenant is responsible for looking after the property and keeping it clean and undamaged. Property repairs must be attended to quickly.
Tenants should notify their landlord or property manager as soon as they become aware of a problem and not leave it until they are moving out of the property.