Questions about repairs and what tenants can do when a landlord refuses to carry them out are the most dealt with issues by the our advice line volunteers and our lawyers conducting face to face advice.
With the amendments of the Residential Tenancy Act of October 2014 a central part of the procedure of dealing with repairs has changed. While tenants used to apply to the Magistrates Court to get an order for repair when a landlord failed to carry out repairs in the prescribed time, the responsibility for repairs and maintenance disputes now lies with the Residential Tenancy Commissioner.
In case of a dispute, tenants can as of 1st October 2014 use the generic online form to file their complaints, which will then be reviewed by the Commissioner.
The underlying rules as to who is responsible for repairs and time frames and types of repairs largely stay unchanged.
Other changes regarding repairs and maintenance as of 1st October 2014 are:
- Tap washers and inaccessible light globes are deemed an urgent repair,
- Cooking stoves with half the elements working are deemed a general repair, but with 14 days for repair (instead of the usual 28 days)
- If an item under general repairs can not be repaired, the item is to be replaced with an item that serves the same primary function and functions to a similar standard as the original item before it needed to be repaired