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Property damage

Who pays for damage to my property?

As the tenant, you are responsible for paying the full costs of repairing any damage caused by you, a household member or a visitor you allowed onto the property. The department is only responsible for repairs resulting from fair wear and tear. For example, you would be required to pay for the 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 or contact us and we will arrange for the repairs and apply a charge to your account. If you arrange the repairs yourself, they must be completed to an acceptable standard.

We will not tolerate deliberate or reckless damage to a public housing property by a tenant, a member of your household or a visitor you allowed onto the property. We will take action to end tenancies for deliberate or reckless property damage.

Who do I contact if my home is damaged?

You can lodge your maintenance request by completing our online form.

If your request is an emergency, call your nearest Housing Service Centre’s maintenance service or our after hours number 1800 808 107 from 6pm to 6am Monday to Friday and on weekends and public holidays.

Damage to asbestos

Some building materials used in homes 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 potential health hazard (if the material is not damaged, there is no danger to health).

If a part of your home is damaged and you think it may contain asbestos, do not dust, sweep or vacuum the debris. Contact your nearest Housing Service Centre or the after-hours emergency maintenance number 1800 808 107 for advice. We will inspect the damage.

Broken glass

Normally the cost of replacing broken glass (for example—windows or doors) is not considered fair wear and tear and is charged to you (you may insure privately for glass breakage).

If the breakage is your fault, you can either arrange the repairs yourself or contact us and we will arrange for the repairs and apply a charge to your account. If you call to have the glass fixed outside of normal business hours, it may be cheaper for you to call a local glass repairer than to have us fix it.

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

Vehicle damage to the property

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

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

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

What if I did not cause the damage?

If you don’t know how the damage occurred, or if it was caused by a break-in, contact your nearest police station, lodge a report and then contact us. You will need to give us the police report incident number. You will not be charged for the cost of this damage.

Property break-ins

If your home is broken into, you must report the incident to the police. Do not touch or move anything until the police have completed their inspection.

Report the incident to the Housing Service Centre and tell them the police incident report number. The department will repair and pay for any damage caused by a break-in.

How do I pay for the repairs?

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

For broken glass or if you lose your keys and are locked out after hours, it’s usually cheaper for you to call a qualified tradesperson to repair the damage.

Can I fix the damage myself?

If part of your home is damaged and you think it may contain asbestos, repairs must be done by a tradesperson qualified in the repairs of those materials (for example—an electrician for electrical damage or a builder for building damage).

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 use your own tradesperson or do the repairs yourself—they must be completed to an acceptable standard. If the repairs are not to an acceptable standard, we will re-do the repair work and charge you for the cost.

What happens if I do not fix the damage or tell the Housing Service Centre about it?

We inspect your property before you move in, periodically while you live there, and when you move out. If we notice any damage while you live there, we will arrange for repairs and charge the costs to you.

After you move out, if we notice damage not considered to be fair wear and tear, we will photograph the damage and record it. You have the option of repairing the damage before handing in the keys or we will repair the damage after you move out and charge you for the cost.

If you have debts for damage caused to a property during a previous tenancy, the debt must be repaid in full before we will provide you with any future housing assistance.

Any unpaid debts from of ex-tenants will be followed up to recover the money.

Helpful information