People with buckets stopping leaks
  • 16 Aug 2022
  • 3 min read
  • By Shaun O'Dowd

New tenancy laws - Matters affecting repairs

Repairs, RTRA Act, New Tenancy Laws, Best practice

What are the changes to the RTRA Act in relation to repairs?

Some of the changes to the tenancy laws on 1 October 2022 relate to the process and authorisation for repairs, including:

  • increasing the maximum spending amount allowed for a tenant or property manager for emergency repairs from two weeks to four weeks' rent;
  • the Form 18a General Tenancy Agreement must now identify the nominated repairer that is the tenant's first point of call for emergency repairs;
  • new provisions replacing the process for obtaining and dealing with an order of QCAT for carrying out emergency & routine repairs - now referred to as "Repair Orders";
  • an outstanding Repair Order made by QCAT applying to a property must be disclosed in the Form 18a General Tenancy Agreement to the tenant prior to the tenant entering into the tenancy; and
  • any repairs for damage to the property which are caused by domestic violence experienced by the tenant is the responsibility of the Lessor and costs cannot be recovered from the tenant.

How to prepare for the changes

The REIQ recommends following steps in the REIQ Checklist for New Tenancy Laws in Realworks which sets out a best practice procedure to follow and advice about the new forms and factsheets in Realworks to use to facilitate the process of amending existing forms and entering into new forms in a compliant way.

Some of the forms introduced to assist with these changes can help with:

  • seeking instructions about increasing spend limits, nominating repairers and disclosing repair orders; and
  • varying Form 18a General Tenancy Agreements.

The difference between an emergency repair and a routine repair

'Emergency' repairs include:
  • a burst water service or serious water service leak;
  • a blocked or broken lavatory system;
  • a serious roof leak;
  • a gas leak;
  • a dangerous electrical fault;
  • flooding or serious flood damage;
  • serious storm, fire or impact damage;
  • a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the property;
  • a failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance on the property for hot water, cooking
or heating;
  • a fault or damage that makes the property unsafe or insecure;
  • a fault or damage likely to injure a person, damage property or unduly inconvenience a resident of the property; or
  • a serious fault in a staircase, lift or other common area of the property that unduly inconveniences a resident in gaining access to, or using, the property.
All other repairs are considered to be 'routine' repairs and maintenance.

Find out more about how the new tenancy laws affect repairs by downloading our free Tenancy Laws Toolkit and purchasing our training video here.

REIQ members can contact the Property Management Support Service for further advice on this topic or others by calling 1300 MYREIQ or emailing

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