Reader Question:

“I have concerns that my tenant in New South Wales is withholding rent because they are waiting on a repair to take place. The plumber has yet to contact them about arranging a date to view the house. Are they legally able to do this?”

withhold rent
Photo: Pixabay/ulleo.

Is my tenant withholding rent? What can be done?

We asked managing director at Real Property Manager, John Gilmovich for his advice:

“A tenant cannot legally withhold rent payments to a landlord as a way of affecting a repair,” John said.

“However a tenant has the right to seek direction and orders via a tribunal if the tenant feels that the landlord is being unreasonable with carrying out a necessary repair in a timely manner.”

John said the tenant can hold back the whole or part of their rent and pay it to the tribunal until such time the repair is finalised.

“Once the tenant or the tribunal is satisfied that the landlord has fulfilled their duty by completing the repair by a licensed trades person, then the rent is released to the landlord,” he said.’s Reader Q&A page is the place to get expert advice on tenancy matters, money, repairs and support using If you have a question you’d like answered, email

john gilmovich
John Gilmovich
Founder, Director & Senior Property Manager at | | + posts

John Gilmovich is the founder, director & senior property manager of Real Property Manager - A boutique independent mobile agency.