Are landlords or tenants responsible for faulty power points?

“There is a faulty power point in my kitchen. My real estate agent says I (the tenant) am responsible for its replacement. Is this correct? If not, what should I do to get it fixed?” Tenant, NSW

We asked Rhodes Realty General Manager and Licensed Real Estate Agent, Greg Timms for his advice:

“In this situation, the owner would need to prove that your appliances or your misuse were the cause of the fault with the power point,” Greg said.

“The owner is otherwise responsible for ensuring the power points, light fittings and some alarms are in good working order.”

Greg suggested sending an email to your agent requesting the repair and explaining that your appliance did not cause the fault.

“It would be worth highlighting that a faulty power presents a potential safety issue,” he said. “You may even suggest that if the electrician engaged finds misuse is the cause of the fault, that you will pay the repair cost.”

“Give your agent a reasonable deadline for the repairs to be completed, for example, within 7-10 business days and follow up with them if the repair is not organised in the suggested time.”

“Continue to pay your rent as normal as withholding rent can give grounds to terminate the tenancy for non-payment of rent.”

“If the agent does not arrange the repair, then you can escalate the matter to the Agency Principal or take steps to report the matter to Fair Trading. The last report would be to apply to Tribunal for an order to have the repair done.”

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