“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 , Laura 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.