The quick answer is yes. The Residential Tenancies Agreement (RTA) classifies a lack of hot water as an emergency repair.
It is typical to expect a 24-48 hour delay in having your hot water system fixed.
We recommend that you call your property manager and then follow up with an email for written confirmation. This email will be crucial if the problem is not handled immediately.
You have the right to expect your landlord to carry out repairs in a “reasonable period” under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. If it’s an emergency repair because you don’t have heating or hot water, your landlord should get it fixed within 24 – 48 hours.
If you are a homeowner with no hot water, please call The Brisbane Plumbers on our emergency phone line. We are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can visit any residence in Brisbane.
What Can I Do?
Because a lack of hot water is considered an emergency repair, your suggested real estate plumber may enter your house without notice of entry.
If your hot water system is built within your house or garage, the plumber will want access, which may require you to be present when they come or permit them to pick up a key from the agent.
If your hot water system is outdoors but behind a closed gate, or if you have a dog in the yard, the gate must be unlocked and the dog restrained before the plumber may access the area.
The inability to access the area will cause a delay in repairing your hot water.
What if the hot water system needs to be replaced?
If your hot water system cannot be fixed and must be replaced, the cost will almost certainly surpass the two weeks rental fee, which may hinder the authorisation for rapid replacement.
Your plumber will need to submit a quote, and the owner may seek multiple quotes, perhaps delaying the replacement procedure by a few days.
If your landlord does not live nearby or is on vacation, there may be further delays. Some agents are unable to make a significant item purchase choice without the owner’s approval.
As emergency plumbers for many years, we frequently receive rapid authorisation to replace, but it is not always so straightforward and can take longer.
If you have no hot water and your hot water is being replaced, it may take up to 2-4 days.
You have the right as a renter to live in a safe, secure, and peaceful environment that is managed in compliance with Australian law.
You must also take good care of the property, pay the rent on time, and follow the conditions of your leasing agreement.
It is the landlord’s job to keep the property safe and habitable, and there are standards governing how urgent and non-urgent repairs are handled.
If you are overdue on your rent or have neglected your house, you may face further challenges.
RTA – Classification of Emergency Repairs
The renter should report the problem to the property manager/owner or the nominated repairer (as specified in the lease agreement). As proof of notice, it is a good idea to put the request in writing.
If they are unable to be reached, the tenant may arrange for a qualified individual to do emergency repairs up to the value of two weeks’ rent.
Emergency repairs include:
- burst water service or a serious water service leak
- blocked or broken toilet
- serious roof leak
- gas leak
- dangerous electrical fault
- flooding or serious flood damage
- serious storm, fire or impact damage
- failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
- failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance on the property for hot water, cooking or heating
- fault or damage that makes the property unsafe or insecure
- fault or damage likely to injure a person, damage property or unduly inconvenience a tenant
- a serious fault in a staircase, lift or another common area of the property that unduly inconveniences a tenant in gaining access to, or using, the property.
All other repairs are considered routine repairs.