Faulty fridge, who pays for repairs?

Question from Don updated on 20th October 2006:

Had a call from my tenant to say the fridge was broken. He had checked the plug and it was in and switched on. I organised an appliance repair man who found the fuse had popped, he pushed this in and all was fine. Who pays the charge of $70 for this service?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Landlords are not required to provide appliances such as refrigerators. In this case you have supplied a refrigerator as an ‘extra’ in the tenancy. You are therefore responsible for maintaining this extra facility - this means if a problem is caused through ‘normal wear and tear’ you must pay to fix it. If damage or disrepair to the property or the facilities provided by the landlord is caused by the tenant intentionally or through carelessness the tenant will usually be responsible for paying for repairs. If the fuse was blown through normal wear and tear, it will be your responsibility to pay to have it fixed. In situations where you have supplied appliances we recommend discussing things like how to replace fuses when the tenant first moves in.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.


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