Rental tips - getting urgent repairs done

In Victoria, your landlord has a legal responsibility to make sure your rental property is maintained and kept in good repair.

This means, if you have something that needs to be repaired urgently, for example a blocked toilet, your landlord must respond immediately and complete repairs promptly.

Some examples of urgent repairs include:

  • a burst water service
  • a failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided by a landlord or agent for water, hot water, cooking, heating or laundering
  • a serious roof leak.

You can view the full list of urgent repairs on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.

Anything not on this list is considered a non-urgent repair and is handled differently. For information on non-urgent repairs go to Consumer Affair Victoria.

Call your emergency contact number straight away

When you enter a lease you should have been given an emergency contact number for urgent repairs. You must try to contact them before organising any repair work to be done yourself.

If your landlord doesn't respond immediately

If you’ve tried to contact your landlord or real estate agent and they haven't responded you can organise the repair work yourself up to a cost of $1,800.

To get the cost of the repairs reimbursed by your landlord:

  • keep all receipts and invoices to get reimbursed
  • send your landlord a Notice to Landlord form describing the repairs and how much they cost with a copy of the receipt
  • ​your landlord must reimburse you within 14 days.

Urgent repairs ordered by VCAT

You can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for an order requiring the landlord to carry out an urgent repair if:

  • you can’t afford to pay for those repairs yourself; or
  • the repairs cost more than $1800; or
  • the landlord is refusing to reimburse you if you carry out the repairs yourself.

To apply to VCAT, visit the Apply Online page on the VCAT website

Need more help with urgent repairs? Contact the Tenants Union of Victoria for free advice on (03) 9416 2577

Have your say on Victoria's renting laws. Consumer Affairs Victoria is currently reviewing renting laws and wants to hear from you.

Find out more about your renting rights on Everyday-Law

This information relates to laws in Victoria, Australia.

This page was last updated on July 15, 2016