Repairs and maintenance on rented properties

Landlords must maintain a rental property during a tenancy so that it is in a reasonable state of repair, allowing for wear and tear.  

 You must advise the landlord or agent in writing that repairs are needed as soon as you notice them.

Giving notice of repairs

You can give notice verbally or in writing, unless the landlord has asked for it to be in writing.

If you give verbal notice and the repairs are not done, you must give written notice before you can enforce the terms of your tenancy agreement to get repairs done. 

You must include all the following information:

  • landlord's name and address, or agent's name and address
  • address of the property being rented
  • your name
  • details of the repair or maintenance needed
  • your signature and date of notice. 

How quickly a repair is dealt with depends on the category of repair. 

Emergency repairs

This includes all of the following:

  • burst water pipes
  • blocked or broken toilet
  • serious roof leak
  • gas leak
  • dangerous electrical fault
  • flooding or serious flood damage
  • serious storm, fire or impact damage
  • failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the premises
  • failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance for water or cooking
  • fault or damage that makes the premises unsafe or insecure
  • fault or damage that can likely injure a person, damage property or inconvenience you
  • a serious fault in a staircase or lift or other area that inconveniences you in gaining access or using premises.

You should notify your landlord of emergency repairs as soon as practical. After your landlord has been notified, he/she has five days to either:

  • make repairs to the property
  • or arrange for repairs to be made within 14 days.

If your landlord does not make repairs or arrangements for repairs, you can apply to the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order that the repairs be carried out.

Other repairs

You should notify your landlord of any other required repairs. Your landlord must repair, or make repair arrangements, in a timely manner.

What to do if your landlord does not make repairs

If your landlord does not make repairs after receiving your notification, they are in breach of your tenancy agreement. 

If you cannot reach an agreement about the repairs you may serve your landlord a notice to either:

  • resolve the breach
  • terminate the lease.
For more information or advice, contact NT Consumer Affairs.

Last updated: 27 June 2017