Property Tips: Who is Responsible for Damage? Tenant or Landlord?

Property tipsA broken window or leaky tapes can be cause for unwarranted stress for landlords and tenants combined, especially when it comes to deciding who is responsible for fixing it. No landlord or tenant wants to be locked into a battle of “not my responsibility” when it comes to rental repairs, or to have to fork out for hefty repairs when they shouldn’t have to.

But this doesn’t need to be the case if everyone knows their rights and responsibilities.

Mould

John from Plumber Brisbane (Watermark Plumbing) says that dealing with things like mould and vermin are quite tricky because it is hard to determine who is at fault. If the mould is because of a problem with the property, for example, the roof has a leak, then the landlord has the responsibility to clean to mould and make the repairs. However, if the tenant has caused the mould by letting steam build up, then they are liable for the damages. Royden, a Brisbane property manager says it’s not always clear whether something is a cleaning or a maintenance problem, and who is liable.

Lightbulbs

Obviously, tenants are responsible for changing any lightbulbs. However, if changing a bulb requires specialist skills or knowledge or when an electrician Iis needed, changing it may be part of the landlord’s responsibility to maintain.

Smoke alarms

In all states and territories smoke alarms must comply with the Building Code of Australia, and in every home, there must be at least one smoke alarm located between bedrooms and an exit. Landlords have the duty of supplying and installing smoke alarms, and replcing the batteries before each new tenant.

Pools

The tenant is responsible for the day to day maintenance like clearing leaves, but this should be discussed and set out in the terms of the lease.

Non-urgent repairs  

in most cases, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to take care of routine repairs that don’t compromise the tenant’s safety, such as leaking taps, broken dishwasher etc. the best thing to do is to keep the property in the best condition you can. It is the best way to proect your own interest and your asset. The more effort you put in first, the less money you will have to spend in the long run.

 

But before anything breaks or needs to be fixed you should

Make sure you remember to keep a record of everything, take photos of every small detail and document them in an email. As a tenant, make sure you thoroughly inspect the property before you settle in. Take photos of everything before you move in, in case something is broken so you will not have to pay for it.