Reader Question: 

“I moved into my rental four months ago. In the first week, I reported a number of issues (cistern in the toilet leaking / no key for the window locks / the air conditioner needed fixing). But nothing has been done. After sending a reminder to my agent, they said they had notified the property owner and hadn’t heard back.

“I had a rental inspection one month ago and I told the agent the situation was ridiculous. A few days later, the cistern was fixed by a plumber. Then the invoice arrived for my water bill – it was $100. At my last rental, it was $10-40. I’m unemployed, I offered to and had to pay 6 months’ rent in advance on a 6-month lease. I like my rental and would like to stay. Where do I stand with my water bill – can I query it? What can I do about the remaining maintenance issues that still remain outstanding and how should I handle it?” – John

outstanding repair requests

John, we asked Property Manager with Harcourts Integrity, Kim-Anh Cao for her advice on outstanding repair requests.

“If the leak issue was reported and was not repaired I would recommend disputing the invoice, as the leak could have contributed to the high cost of the bill,” Kim-Anh said.

“In regards to the other maintenance issues, such as the window keys, as well as the broken aircon:

  • If it has been reported continuously and you have had no update as to what is happening I would ask to speak to the Department Manager or Licensee to see if this can be escalated. Explain the situation to them in regards to how many times the issue has been reported and how long it has been ongoing for.
  • If it is then still not rectified or you are not updated I would look into the option of breaching the owner (forms and full details available through Department of Commerce website) which may force them to, within reason, get the repairs done or allow you to terminate your lease.

Kim-Anh suggests that if the property was advertised with an aircon in working order, the aircon must be working throughout the whole tenancy.

We’ll be posting answers to reader questions every week. If you have a question you’d like to see answered here, please send it to

kim-anh cao
Kim-Anh Cao

Kim has experience in various roles within the Real Estate Industry such as receptionist, Sales admin, Property Management assistant and now she is a Property Manager with her own portfolio.