“Can I stop paying rent for a time until a repair is made on something that is affecting my safety/health (i.e. asbestos in the house)” Tenant, NSW

We asked MMJ Real Estate Dapto Property ManagerLaura McDiarmid for her advice.

“Unfortunately not, you should never stop paying the rent this will only put you in breach of your agreement and puts you at risk of having your tenancy terminated,” Laura said.

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If your landlord is refusing to complete the repair, the best practice would be to apply to the Tribunal for orders relating to repairs, Laura said.

“The Tribunal is able to make orders of the following:
● an order that the landlord do repairs;
● an order that you can pay your rent to the Tribunal until the repairs are done;
● an order that your rent be reduced until the time it is fixed; or
● an order to compensate you for losses (eg. Damage to your belongings from a leaking pipe after you told the landlord the pipe was leaking).”

If you are going to apply to the Tribunal to have this matter resolved, then make sure you have records of when then repair was originally reported,” Laura said.

“It’s always best to have repairs submitted in writing, as well as any follow-up calls.”

Laura said she also recommended having photos of the issue to support your case once it goes to Tribunal.

You might also like:
– Can I request repairs or an update to my kitchen?
– My rental is for sale. What happens with viewings?
– What changes can I make to my rental property? 

Laura McDiarmid
Laura McDiarmid

Laura McDiarmid is a Property Manager with MMJ Real Estate in Dapto, New South Wales. She is a Licensed Real Estate Agent who holds a Certificate IV in Property Services. Laura also has a Level 3 Certification in InDesign, with a Social Media & Marketing diploma from the Shaw Academy. She worked at a law office for four years and has been in the real estate industry since 2008 in roles spanning Property Officer, Senior Property Manager and Sales and Marketing Coordinator.


  1. I have been teyi g to have my airconditioner fixed for over a month . I had to sleep in the lounge under a fan for the most of December . It was replaced with a new aircon but this new one have been looked at by two sets of technicians and the still cant find the fault. What can I do in regards the problem I have .

    • Hi Vincent,

      Anything provided by your landlord must be maintained and repaired if necessary. This is the landlord’s duty and repairing and maintaining air-conditioning falls under this duty. Here comes the fine print, there are a couple of exceptions:

      1) if you and your landlord agreed in your lease that the air-conditioner was not working and does not form part of the rented premises; or 2) if the air-conditioner was damaged due to your lack of care, and the landlord has given you a notice to fix the damage. [Section 68 Residential Tenancies Act]. If in doubt, contact the tenancy body in your state for more info 🙂 Hope this helps!