If you are a tenant, property manager or landlord and unsure if an issue is urgent or not, please read the below.

Below is a list of URGENT repairs directly from the legislation, however some interpretation and common sense is required additional to what this says.

1. Burst water service
When you hear “burst” you immediately think the whole house is flooded, floors are damaged and thousands of dollars in repairs, however this is often not the case!
Consider the following: “What is burst?” “Where is the water?” “What in the property will be affected?”
Basic knowledge of property plumbing will help a lot, but the main thing to know is that if there’s a water leak, there’s always a tap somewhere to turn it off. So don’t stress! If the mains are turned off, you need a plumber there yesterday, but if a toilet cistern has cracked and they have a second toilet, the urgency decreases.

2. An appliance, fitting or fixture that uses water or is used to supply water is broken or not functioning properly, and a substantial amount of water is being wasted
Similar to the above there are “burst” water services and there are leaks. Identify which of these it is first, and then turn the supply off. Again if this means turning the main off, then get a plumber ASAP- the key part of this is- “substantial amount of water is wasted” not just if the appliance isn’t working.

3. Blocked or broken lavatory system
This is urgent, get a plumber. ( Broken means IT DOES NOT WORK ) a leaking cistern is not urgent, especially if there is a second toilet.

4. Serious roof leak
Key words! “Serious” – what is the severity of this. A drip down a wall can wait, if it’s effecting lives someone needs to come out ASAP.

5. Gas leak
Find out where its coming from, its severity and regardless get someone onto it ASAP.

6. Dangerous electrical fault
More often than not, a dangerous fault is only dangerous if someone touches it!! So make sure no one touches it. If a power line has fallen on to a house call the SES.

7. Flooding or serious flood damage
Document everything and get someone out there ASAP to fix!

8. Serious storm or fire damage
You guessed it, same again! Document everything and get someone out there ASAP to fix!

9. A failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the premises
This one is always urgent, but often people can be without power/gas/water and not know why. If they are without power, make sure they check the breaker switch in the power box hasn’t just tripped before sending someone out. And ask what they were doing before the power went out- this can be helpful.
If the breaker is fine, get them to check with the apartment/ houses either side of them. If they’ve lost power- it’s often that the whole street is without power, similarly water and gas, particularly for unit blocks as the utility company may have cut it off for works etc.

10. A failure or breakdown of any essential service on the residential premises for hot water, cooking, heating, cooling or laundering
This one is usually an urgent repair. Always check the breaker switch board to see if any of them have tripped. This can often be the reason the power’s off and get as many details as you can.

11. Any fault or damage that causes the premises to be unsafe or insecure.
For instance, this could be a broken window (unless the residents broke it, then they need to sort it out) or a lock on an accessible door to the public is not functioning – but be reasonable, if it’s the 3rd story balcony at the back it’s probably less urgent). If the fault is with the lock itself, get a locksmith out that day.

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