Maintenance Issues – What is Urgent?


Ever experienced an issue in a rental home and wondered whether you should or shouldn’t call your property manager?

Here are some of the most common issues, and what you should do.

This advice is general and will not apply to all issues or circumstances. Exercise common sense at all times. If in doubt, call your property manager or landlord. In an emergency dial 111. 


No hot water

Hot water may run out if there have been extra visitors and the tank is simply not big enough to cope with the demand.

It can also be caused by loss of the power/gas supply, or from a faulty cylinder/infinity system.

Electrical cylinder: the fault might be the result of a power cut, fuse failure or element failure. To rule out a power cut, check whether other electrical appliances in the home are working.

Gas cylinder/califont: the gas supply may have been cut, or the pilot light may have gone out due to wind or a power outage. Checking the pilot light is a good first step. Do not attempt to relight it if you smell gas or suspect a leak. If there are no smells, carefully attempt to relight the pilot.

If there continues to be no hot water, contact your property manager so they can arrange for a qualified tradesperson to visit the property.


Burst water pipe

A burst water pipe can occur at any time. The first thing you should do is cut the home’s water supply to prevent damage to the property.

Then, call your property manager so they can contact a plumber for you.

When you first move into a rental, it’s a great idea to ask the property manager where the water toby is located, so you’re prepared if you need to cut the water supply.


Tap won’t turn off

Taps can fail.  Again, cut the water supply and then call your property manager.

Toilet overflowing

Turn off the water supply to the toilet. Try and clear the toilet if you have a plunger (think about your health and safety – put on some gloves and safety glasses before plunging).

If you can’t unblock the toilet, it’s time to call your property manager.


Burst sewer

Sewer pipes can corrode or become damaged over the years. They can burst and when they do, it can be a bit of a disaster.

It’s important to call your property manager immediately so they can arrange for a plumber to visit you.

Protect yourself and your family by not going anywhere near the sewage.


No power

As simple as it sounds, a power outage can be caused by not paying a bill. Check you are up-to-date with your power account.

A power outage can also be caused by:

•    A localised or wider outage due to a transformer issue or following a storm. Check whether there’s a power outage in your region.
•    Winds or lightning damaging overhead power lines.
•    Digging damaging underground power lines.
•    A tripped fuse on the switchboard.

If you’ve run through this list and still can’t identify the issue, give your property manager a call.


Smoke out of switchboards

This is an emergency – it can occur if old wiring has caught on fire or the switchboard has become overloaded.

Turn the power mains off if possible and evacuate the property.

Call 111 for any smoke/fires.

Call your property manager as soon as it is safe to do so.


Smells of gas

This can be caused by a leaking gas appliance or damage to the home’s gas line.

If you can do so safely, open all windows and doors before evacuating.

Call your property manager immediately so they can contact a qualified gas fitter.

Alert your neighbours.