In Focus

The Importance of Maintenance

Felicity Allen

Felicity Allen

September 2019
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The importance of maintenance and licenced/qualified trades:

To protect the best interests of our landlords, their property and to reduce risk, it is important to ensure that tradespeople are adequately insured, suitably qualified and provide the relevant compliance & safety certificates for example; Plumbing Compliance Certificate and Certificate of Electrical Safety. It is also important to ensure that works are carried out in a professional and timely manner, with any relevant warranties provided.

Jellis Craig preferred trades are engaged on a contractor agreement to ensure that they meet these minimum standards as well as being priced competitively.

Section 68 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 states:

Landlord's duty to maintain premises

    (1) A landlord must ensure that the rented premises are maintained in good repair.
    (2) A landlord is not in breach of the duty to maintain the rented premises in good repair if— 
        (a) Damage to the rented premises is caused by the tenant's failure to ensure that care was taken to avoid damaging the premises;                     and 
        (b) The landlord has given the tenant a notice under section 78 requiring the tenant to repair the damage. 
    (3) If a landlord owns or controls rented premises and the common areas relating to those rented premises, the landlord must take                     reasonable steps to ensure that the common areas are maintained in good repair. 

The landlord must also ensure the property is fit for habitation:

The landlord is considered an “occupier” for the purposes of the Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic) and therefore owes a duty to a tenant (and others entering the premises) to take reasonable care to ensure that the property is reasonably fit for habitation.

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