Time to Cool Off

Imagine, it’s a sweltering hot day, you reach for the air conditioner remote; switch it on and…nothing, no cold air, just the realisation that the air conditioner doesn’t work. So who is going to fix it?

As the weather warms up, the RTA is receiving enquiries from tenants and lessors/property managers about air conditioner repairs and in particular, whose responsibility it is to maintain them. What we are hearing is that some tenants are starting their agreement in winter, not checking that the air conditioner is working when they move in and are now realising it’s broken.

So what does the Act say?

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act) states the lessor/agent must ensure the premises are clean, fit to live in and that the all inclusions, including air conditioners, where installed, are in good repair.

The Act also states that a special condition can’t contravene the Act so a clause stating that the tenant is responsible for the air conditioner is not allowed.

In cases where lengthy repairs need to be carried out, the tenant may be able to negotiate a rent reduction. This amount is reached by mutual agreement.

The Act says a rent reduction can be negotiated where the amenity or standard of the premises decreases substantially, other than because of malicious damage caused by the tenant. In other words, so long as the air conditioner wasn’t broken intentionally, the tenant may be able to negotiate a rent reduction, if the repairs are not done in a reasonable time.

For more information on repairs and maintenance click here for RTA Fact Sheet.

Source the RTA Website

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