When owning or managing an investment property, you are bound by a legal duty of care to the tenant to ensure that the property is fit and safe to reside in.
Maintenance and repair requirements can fall into different categories in accordance with each State law, such as:-
- general repairs;
- urgent (emergency) repairs; and
- repairs that (if not actioned promptly) can lead to a litigation claim and compensation payable if someone is injured or adversely impacted.
Throughout the management of your property, if you are confronted with repair requests below, it is important that you take immediate action:-
- Faulty window or door locks.
- Ripples or loose threads in the carpet or on the stairwell.
- Cracked or sharp edges on tiles.
- Cracked or loose power points sockets.
- External uneven pavers.
- Balcony railings – ensure they meet Council regulations and are not loose.
- Loose or exposed wiring on light fittings.
- Appliances that are shorting out the electrical circuit board.
- Circuit board has been upgraded to meet requirements.
- Inadequate lighting in stairways and external walkway areas.
- Unnecessary objects protruding out that could lead to a slip and fall.
- Sagging ceilings.
- Faulty or non-closing pool gate fence.
- Dry rot on external railings, floorboards, and steps.
- Loose or hanging gutters and downpipes.
- Non-compliant smoke detectors and safety switches.
- Excessive mould.
If a claim was made; the questions asked to determine liability would include:-
- Was the accident the result of failure to repair, maintain or clean the space?
- Could the accident have been prevented in any way?
- Would it have been reasonable to have noticed the repair/hazard?
We do understand that, for many investors, paying for and attending to repairs and maintenance can place a financial strain on a household. However, the consequences of not being proactive can result in an unwanted lawsuit.