Help! The aircon in my rental isn’t working

1 February 2024

"As we swelter through another heatwave, our Information Services team is receiving a lot of calls from tenants about broken airconditioning. "

As we swelter through another heatwave, our Information Services team is receiving a lot of calls from tenants about broken airconditioning.  

If your rental property included working airconditioning at the time you signed the lease, it is a fair expectation that it will continue to work during the term of the lease and that it will be fixed if it breaks down. 

An owner’s obligation is to attend to usual repairs and maintenance “in a timely manner”. Unfortunately, delays can occur, particularly at this time of year when there is a lot of demand for airconditioning repairs. 

In certain circumstances, such as during extended periods of extremely hot weather, airconditioning repairs may be considered urgent repairs. 

The Residential Tenancies Act states:  

urgent repairs, in relation to residential premises, means repairs to the premises that are necessary: 

(a) for the supply or restoration of a service prescribed as an essential service; or 

(b) to avoid: 

(i) exposing a person to the risk of injury; or 

(ii) exposing property to damage; or 

(iii) causing the tenant undue hardship or inconvenience

Broken airconditioning may be considered to cause a tenant undue hardship or inconvenience during periods of extreme heat. 

It is a term of every residential tenancy agreement that if the need for urgent repairs arises (other than as a result of a breach of the agreement by the tenant): 

(a) the tenant is to notify the owner/property manager of the need for those repairs as soon as practicable after the problem arises; and 

(b) the owner/property manager must take action to contact a suitable repairer and arrange for them to fix the problem.

The owner/property manager has 48 hours to arrange an urgent repair (24 hours for essential services) however the repair does not need to be fixed within this time.  

Please remember, in most cases, your property manager cannot authorise significant repairs without permission from the owner. They will do their best to liaise with the owner and arrange repairs. 

Unfortunately, even though the owner/property manager may have arranged for an urgent repair within the required timeframe, it may still take some time for the problem to be fixed. 

If you have questions about broken airconditioning, or any other issue regarding your tenancy, please call our Information Services team on 9380 8200 (business hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or email [email protected]

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