oven repairs

“Our oven has stopped working. We’ve sent a couple of emails and filled out a form online, but keep being told that the agent is waiting on the landlord to get back to us. How long should we have to wait? Our agent informed us that this isn’t an ‘emergency,’ as the stovetop is still working. Is that correct?” – Vanessa

Vanessa, we asked Managing Director for PPM Group, Debbie Palmer for her insight into your question:

“Hi Vanessa, this is a common scenario that we hear from many tenants, so you are not alone,” Debbie said.

“As a tenant you have the right to a well-maintained and safe home. It can sometimes be challenging for property managers to quickly respond to tenant requests as they are simply acting on behalf of the landlord and need to take instructions.  I am concerned that the property manager has stated that “It is not an emergency repair” as in many states of Australia, the legislation clearly outlines an example of an emergency is ‘a failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance on the premises for hot water, cooking or heating.’

Debbie said tenancy legislation is always open to interpretation and is never black and white.

“Even if this matter was taken to the Tribunal Courts there could be several outcomes. An oven may not be considered essential as you can cook on the stove, but you could argue that it is essential if you cook a lamb roast each night or are having a special dinner party coming up where you need the essential service of your oven,” she said.

Debbie offers the following advice to anyone experiencing this situation: 

1. First and foremost, don’t get defensive and annoyed with your property manager.  Write a well thought out email expressing how it is affecting you and request that it is rectified within a set time frame and include some compassion for the role the property manager has to do – they will appreciate that most. The property manager can then escalate this to the landlord. Yes, there are some property managers who don’t give tenant requests the priority they need, but the majority of property managers are often as frustrated as the tenant in the landlord not responding.

2. I would highlight that legislation states that this is an emergency repair.  Some States have breach notices to request important things to be actioned or have mediation services.

3. You could also request a reduction in rent for the period of time ‘in waiting’… It is often how the property manager communicates the importance of a request to the landlord that determines the outcome.

Good luck Vanessa… and I am sure you are going to enjoy your lamb roast once the oven is working again.”

Debbie Palmer
Debbie Palmer
Managing Director at PPM Group | [email protected]

Debbie Palmer is the Founder and Managing Director of PPM Group, based in Robina, Queensland. With more than 30 years of experience in property management, Debbie is also the founding host of Australia's longest-running national property management event, the PPM National Property Management Conference. Debbie is highly respected in the industry and has dedicated her career to improving the mindset of property managers.


  1. This question interested me from the point of view of expecting to rent a reasonably well presented and maintained house and the length of time that should be taken to repair faults that are not seen as “emergency repairs”. We rent a house in a regional centre in NSW at Top market rent and have lived here for 18 months, on first inspection and lease signing and return of the condition report at that time we noted issues i.e. no working kitchen light, two external sliding doors that are heavy and very hard to lock & slide, gutters full of leaves and silt etc-etc. and after numerous property inspections and emails and promises to fix, we are still no closer to repairs of any of these things. If this was an issue because we were bad tenants, I would understand, but this is not the case and the agent values us as tenants and has suggested “it is a renters market at present” which I presume means we should move if we find this an issue, but that is more expense and does not solve the basic problems for someone else.
    I do believe that landlords need to be required to set aside a percentage of their income for ongoing maintenance and upkeep, just to protect their own investment, if nothing else. This is a requirement of body corporates in units and flats, why not rented accommodation?

  2. I have a similar problem. We have been in the property almost two years. The house came furnished. They only thing the landlord has done was replace the fridge with a smaller one ? Now the oven is on its way out, the house has started leaking in bad storms, there are times coming off the roof, the pool pump is broken so pool is not useable. I have sent emails, photos, phone calls, more emails and the reply I get is I am waiting to hear back from the landlord. That’s fine but we are paying top dollar for a run down house where nothing is getting fixed. I have been trying to extend our lease since June last year (it’s up in April) would love to stay on for long term 4+years. To keep the kids settled but I can even get an answer about that!