lives overseas

“I’m renting through an agent and have done so for the last four years. There is just one problem. The owner, although Australian, lives in China. If we need serious repair work done as we do now, the agent must get in touch with the owner by email and we wait weeks to have the fault seen to. What can we do about this dilemma? We don’t mind a week to two but months is just not on.” Tenant, WA

We asked the former director at Rent Choice, Caroline Nurse, for her advice:

“I understand your frustration at the time delay with getting maintenance items attended to,” Caroline said.

“Urgent items should be actioned within 24 hours and non-urgent items within 48 hours.”

Caroline said you should not be waiting two months for serious repair work.

“Given you have a good relationship with the property manager, you can ask if they have an authorised expenditure limit. Most agents will request that owners give them authority to spend a certain amount on maintenance without prior consent so that they can address urgent items on time,” she said.

“If they do not have this authority in place, then I would suggest they arrange this.”

Suppose you find yourself in this situation during your tenancy. In that case, the other alternative is to issue a breach notice to the agent/landlord for not attending to serious repair work promptly.

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Caroline Nurse
Caroline Nurse

Caroline Nurse was the Director of Rent Choice in West Perth, Western Australia. Caroline worked in the property industry for more than 13 years. Her background included property investment, residential rentals, real estate sales, residential land development, new home construction and renovation. Caroline held a Triennial Certificate as a Real Estate Licensee and completed a Bachelor of Commerce and a Diploma of Project Management. She has previously worked with Terranovis as a Development Manager.