If Something Breaks Down Housing Direct 1300 137 677 If something on the property breaks down or is damaged then the Department of Housing will do the repairs for you. These repairs are categorised as emergency, priority or routine maintenance. This fact sheet is about this type of ‘responsive’ maintenance, although the Department also does other types of planned maintenance. What do you do if something breaks down or is damaged? You must report emergency, priority or routine maintenance to the Department as soon as possible. Make sure this is within 3 days from the time the damage occurs or from when you notice it. Who should you call? To report emergency, priority or routine repairs during working hours (Monday- Friday 8.00am-5.00pm) call: Housing Direct : 1300 137 677. To report ‘emergency maintenance’ after normal working hours (including weekends and public holidays) call: Housing Direct : 1300 137 677. You should not call after hours to report routine or priority repairs. You can wait until the next working day to report this type of damage. What is emergency maintenance? Emergency maintenance is carried out within 3 hours and is required when the utmost urgency is needed to protect: • The tenants health, safety or security; or • The property from further damage The following items are examples of emergency repairs: • Electrical faults where shocks are a risk or sparks are generated • Gas leaks (You should turn gas bottles/gas main off where applicable) • Burst water pipes (You should turn off the mains tap if possible. If damage occurs on a Sunday night or Public Holiday then repairs will be done the next day if the mains can be turned off ) Department of Housing / Housing Direct 1300 137 677 Maintenance Fact Sheet 2 - If Something Breaks Down • Blocked toilet It is important to understand what type of things will need emergency repair. This is because if we send someone out to do the repairs after hours and it is found not to be an emergency then you may be charged with the call out fee and the costs of materials. If you think emergency maintenance is not needed then call Housing Direct (1300 137 677) during normal working hours. If you are unsure whether it is an emergency then call Housing Direct anyway and we can help work out if emergency repairs are needed. There is no charge for calling. Make sure if you do have emergency repairs you stay home or provide access for the contractor to do the work otherwise you may be charged with the contractor’s call out fee and travel costs. What is priority maintenance? Priority maintenance is carried out within 48 hours and includes situations where: • there is impaired use of the dwelling; and/or • where a delay in repair could result in further damage and increased repair costs. The following items are examples of priority repairs: • Roof leaks - during wet season only • Broken (not cracked) glass ( if not threatening health and safety) • Blocked waste pipes (e.g. from basins) - in non high rise complexes • No hot water What is routine maintenance? Routine maintenance is carried out within 14 calendar days and is required when; • components are not working; and • where the safety, health and security of the tenants is not at risk; or • the property is not at risk of sustaining further damage The following items are examples of routine repairs: • Cracked, but not broken, glass • Broken cupboard door • Gutter repairs Who does the repairs? The Department may send a contractor (maintenance worker or tradesperson) around to do the repairs or we may have to come out first to see what’s needed. We will let you know when to expect someone. Make sure you are home or Department of Housing / Housing Direct 1300 137 677 Maintence Fact Sheet 2 - If Something Breaks Down the contractor has access to the property to do the repairs. Can you do the repairs yourself? You should not attempt to do, arrange or authorise any repairs or maintenance yourself. If something is posing a danger or health hazard then you should not hesitate to call Housing Direct. If it is found that the damage does require urgent attention then the Department will respond quickly. What if you want to paint or do some improvements or renovations? If you want to renovate, paint, or add a structure to the home such as a patio, you must obtain approval from the Department first. Contact your Housing Services Officer about obtaining approval. If you do not obtain Departmental approval before installing a structure or improvement you may have to remove it at your own cost. Local shire approval may also be required for any structural changes or additions. Who pays for repairs and maintenance? Generally, the Department will pay for repair and maintenance work. However, if you or someone you allowed onto the property caused the damage intentionally or through neglect or recklessness then you will have to pay the cost of the repairs. Other Maintenance Fact Sheets available Fact Sheet 1 - Looking after your home: Is about what both you and the Department of Housing are responsible for regarding the maintenance and upkeep of your home. Fact Sheet 3 - What repairs do you pay for: Is about who pays for what maintenance expenses particularly when you have caused the damage. Fact Sheet 4 - Improving Your Home: Is about what improvements to a property a tenant may be entitled to. Fact Sheet 5 - Annual Property Inspections: Is about the yearly visit you will get from a Department Housing Services Officer Fact Sheet 6 - Moving in: Is about what condition the property should be in when you move in and the responsibilities you have as you move in. Fact Sheet 7 - Moving Out: Is about what you need to do when you want to move out of your home.