Letter from landlord to tenant: Maintenance dispute
This is a statutorily defined document.
It relates to residential tenancy law.
Landlords have obligations under the terms of residential leases to maintain premises.
Disputes over maintenance are common. These are the main classes of dispute:
- Maintenance of fixtures like electrical or gas fittings.
- Maintenance of plumbing
- Maintenance of external fittings like lighting.
- Maintenance of premises, architectural issues.
- Maintenance of cosmetic issues like paintwork, etc.
Apart from the paintwork, the landlord is obliged to consider all the other issues to be part of their responsibilities under the lease. These represent potentially serious liabilities.
All complaints should be considered on merit. Disputes usually relate to repairs or maintenance not being done, or being done and breaking down again. Tenants may be correct, or not, depending on their understanding of the situation.
When the dispute is in writing, it's important to ensure that the landlord's correspondence complies with related laws. If there's a subsequent legal dispute, this material will form part of the documentation of the dispute.
Responses should be factual and prompt. The example below is a reply to a tenant's written complaint regarding the hot water service, which has been replaced. The tenant has complained by email that the service isn't working. The reply is an email from the landlord.
To: J. Anyone
Subject: Hot water service not working
I refer to your email of (insert date) regarding the hot water service at (insert full residential address). Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.
I'm sorry to hear that you've had this problem.
Please advise as soon as possible when you can be home to let in tradespeople for the repair work.
I'll arrange for maintenance to be carried out at a time convenient for you.
- This text is intended for advisory and guideline purposes only.
- Any business letter can become a legal document, so check your content properly before issuing.
- Any executable or statutorily defined document should be checked for compliance with legal requirements, and you should seek legal advice regarding its contents.