Property damage

Information for Queensland public housing tenants.

Reporting damage to your property

If your property has damage that’s an emergency situation, call either:

If it’s not an emergency, either call your Housing Service Centre or lodge your maintenance request using our online form.

Responsibility for damage

As the tenant, you’re responsible for paying the full costs to repair any damage caused by you, a household member or a visitor that you allowed onto the property.

The Queensland Government is responsible only for repairs resulting from fair wear and tear.

For example, you would pay for repairs if a window was broken while children were playing in your yard or you were mowing the lawn.

You can either:

  • arrange the repairs yourself
  • contact us and we’ll arrange for the repairs and apply a charge to your account.

Any repairs you arrange must be completed to an acceptable standard.

We don’t tolerate deliberate or reckless damage to a public housing property by a tenant, household member or visitor you allowed onto the property.

We will take action to end tenancies for deliberate or reckless property damage.

Damage to asbestos

Some building materials used in homes built before 1990 may be hazardous when damaged.

Materials used in wall and floor coverings, ceilings and roofing may contain asbestos. Any drilling, sanding, nailing etc. may cause particles to become airborne, creating a health hazard. (If the material is not damaged, there is no danger to health.)

If part of your home is damaged and you think it may contain asbestos, don’t dust, sweep or vacuum the debris.

Contact your nearest Housing Service Centre or the after-hours emergency maintenance number 1800 808 107. We will inspect the damage.

Broken glass

Usually, broken glass (e.g. windows and doors) isn’t considered fair wear and tear, so you would need to pay to replace it. (You may insure privately for glass breakage.)

If the breakage is your fault, either:

  • arrange the repairs yourself
  • contact us and we’ll arrange for the repairs and apply a charge to your account.

If you want to have the glass fixed outside normal business hours, a local glass repairer may be cheaper than having us fix it.

If you call a qualified tradesperson to repair the damage, you need to pay for the repairs yourself and tell us about the breakage.

Damage caused by a vehicle

If your home is damaged by a vehicle, try to get the:

  • driver’s name, address and licence number
  • vehicle’s make and model
  • registration number (number plate)
  • insurance details.

Report the incident to the police and the Housing Service Centre.

When you didn’t cause the damage

If you don’t know how the damage occurred, or it was caused by a break-in:

  1. contact your nearest police station to lodge a report
  2. contact the Housing Service Centre to provide the police report incident number.

We won’t charge you for the cost of this damage.

If it was a break-in, don’t touch or move anything until the police have completed their inspection.

How to pay for repairs

We will send you a letter describing what repairs were done and the cost. We will also record the cost as a maintenance charge to your rental account.

For broken glass or lost keys (i.e. if you’re locked out after hours), it’s usually cheaper for you to call a qualified tradesperson to repair the damage.

Fixing the damage yourself

If a part of your home is damaged and you don’t think it contains asbestos, speak to your nearest Housing Service Centre. You may be able to use your own contractor or fix the damage yourself.

If you think it may contain asbestos, only a tradesperson qualified in repairing these materials may do the repair (e.g. an electrician for electrical damage or a builder for building damage).

If you use your own tradesperson or do the repairs yourself, the repairs must be done to an acceptable standard or we’ll re-do the repair work and charge you for the cost.

Failing to report damage

We inspect your property before you move in, while you live there and when you move out.

If we notice any damage while you live there, we’ll either:

  • arrange for repairs and charge the costs to you
  • advise you that you must arrange the repairs yourself. You can request maintenance from our call centre or make your own arrangements.

When you move out, we’ll check for any damage that’s not considered fair wear and tear. We will photograph and record the damage, and then repair it and charge you for the cost.

If you have debts for damage caused to a property during a previous tenancy, you usually have to repay the debt in full before we can give you any future housing assistance.

If you owe money to us at the end of your tenancy, we’ll follow up with you to recover the money.

More information