IMPORTANT - In an active emergency where your safety is at risk, call tiple zero ('000') immediately.

What Qualifies as an Emergency Repair?

First, make sure you understand what constitutes an emergency repair. In NSW, emergency repairs are those that are urgent and necessary to resolve a significant risk to the health and safety of household members and/or to prevent significant damage to the property. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Burst water service
  • Blocked or broken toilet system
  • Serious roof leaks
  • Gas leaks
  • Electrical issues posing a danger
  • Flooding or serious flood damage
  • Serious storm or fire damage

A full, up-to-date list can be found on Fair Trading NSW Website.

Steps to Handle Emergency Repairs

1. Stay Calm, Mitigate Damage & Assess the Situation

Safety first! Ensure you and your fellow household members are safe. Take whatever steps are necessary to isolate the issue and mitigate further damage, for example, turning off the water at the mains, or putting a bucket under a leak. Take a deep breath, and think through if it's indeed an emergency repair as per the definitions above.

2. Report the Job As Normal

Log the job as you normally would by clicking here. This is an essential step to making sure you meet the requirements of the emergency repair provisions. If it's during business hours, call our team on 6885 4564 to let us know you've just reported an urgent job. We're ready to help.

3. Outside Business Hours - Follow the Procedures Outlined in Your Tenancy Agreement

We emailed you a copy of your tenancy agreement when you first signed it. It may have instructions for handling emergency repairs specific to your property, including contact details for preferred tradespeople.

Our current preferred emergency trade suppliers are:

Electrician: O'Brien Electrical

Plumber: O'Brien Plumbing

Locksmith: Orana Regional Locksmiths

4. Authorised Repairs

If you can't reach us, and the situation requires immediate attention, you may have the authority to arrange for the repairs to be done. In NSW, tenants can organise urgent repairs up to the value of $1,000 without prior approval. However, it's crucial you attempt to use our preferred trades, and if you can't reach them, to use another licensed and qualified tradesperson for the job. Note that you are responsible for paying the trade supplier you engage, and you will seek reimbursement from the landlord.

5. Keep Records

Keep all receipts and a detailed record of the repairs, including the nature of the emergency, attempts to contact our agency, and any communication received. This documentation is vital for reimbursement and may be necessary if there are any disputes.

6. Seek Reimbursement

Send us your records and receipts to request reimbursement - use your PropertyMe portal or email [email protected]

In NSW, landlords are required to reimburse tenants for the cost of emergency repairs within 14 days of receiving written notice, provided the repairs were carried out in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW).

Is There a Chance I Won't Be Reimbursed?

As outlined on Fair Trading's website, the landlord is only required to reimburse the tenant’s costs if:

  • the need for the urgent repair was not the tenant’s fault
  • they contacted the landlord or agent about the problem or made a reasonable attempt to do so
  • they gave the landlord or agent a reasonable opportunity to get the repairs done, and
  • the repairs were carried out by a licensed tradesperson (if appropriate).
  • After the repairs are done, the tenant needs to write to the landlord explaining the details of the repairs and include copies of all receipts.

Common Issues that Look Like an Emergency, but might not be?

  • No hot water - if it's a gas hot water system, first check your account has been connected and is up to date. You may need to follow the instructions on the unit to light the pilot light. Electrical units can also get out of sync with their heating cycles - if your water is sometimes hot, sometimes only warm, this is usually a simple fix during normal working hours.
  • No power - it's common for faulty appliances, or a heavy power load (too many appliances on one circuit) to trip an electircal circuit. Take note of if all power has gone out, or just isolated areas. Turn off all appliances and then attempt to turn the circuit back on at your meter box. If this works, you can then turn on your applicances one by one to determine which one has caused the issue. 
  • Break ins - As long as you can secure the property, we can usually recitify any issues during normal business hours.  Contact the police and ask for an event number. Without the event number from police, you may be accountable for any damages. 
  • Evaporative air-con not working - if it's over 38 degrees, or humid, your evaporative air conditioner will not feel as effective as usual. Unlike split systems and ducted reverse cycle units which require doors and windows to be closed, evaporative units require some air flow to work effectively (and prevent problems with moisture). Watch this video to learn how to use your evaporative unit most effectively.