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  • Writer's pictureNorth Lakes Plumbing & Gas Co

Queensland Plumbing Maintenance: Who Takes Responsibility, Landlord, Tenant or Council?

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If you're a tenant or landlord renting an older-style Queenslander property, you've probably experienced a few issues, from creaky wooden floorboards that stick in the subtropical climate to the loud shrill noises from possums "fighting" in the roof. Chances are you have also come across your fair share of plumbing maintenance issues too.

Queenslanders make for fantastic houses, but if under-maintained, they can often leave a pool of plumbing emergencies at your doorstep. If you're in this particular predicament, don't stress, it's not time to play the blame game or call the QBCC just yet!

The responsibility for plumbing repairs and maintenance is a frequent point of contention between landlords and tenants. But both parties have a part to play during a tenancy.

We've put together a guide that includes answers to some of the most common questions asked about Queensland plumbing maintenance, specifically covering who takes responsibility, Landlord, Tenant or Council?

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Landlord Plumbing Responsibilities in Queensland:

An essential part of being a landlord is ensuring the building and structure are safe for the tenant. This includes general maintenance, repairs and paying for the property's outgoings. It is the landlord's responsibility to ensure the plumber is a licensed professional; this way, the plumbing is compliant with regulations and minimises unnecessary risks to the health and safety of tenants occupying the property.

North Lakes Plumbing is a licensed professional with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). We provide services throughout the entire South East Queensland region, including Brisbane CBD, Brisbane Northside, North through to the Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island to Woodford.

  • When it is time for repairs, a landlord must give the tenant at least 48 hours notice before entering the property unless it's to deal with an emergency.

  • Emergency plumbing repairs can include burst pipes and severe water leaks, blocked toilets, gas leaks, hot water system repairs, serious roof leaks, flooding, and significant weather damage.

  • Non-emergency repairs include small leaks and slow-draining sinks.

  • A licensed plumbing professional must complete the plumbing work. Landlords cannot look to complete trade work themselves or use a handyperson to reduce repair costs.

  • Failure to repair a plumbing problem reasonably may break the lease agreement's conditions and result in the property being classed as substandard.

  • It's always a good idea to add all repairs completed during the tenancy to the condition report so that both parties have an up-to-date record for when it's time to end the lease and return the bond.

  • If you are remodelling the bathroom or kitchen of your property, for example, always ensure you use a licensed and insured plumber and that insurance covers all work to protect your tenants and your investment.

Emergency Plumbing Repairs

Here's what to do in the case of an emergency if you're a Landlord:

  • A burst water service or a serious water service leak

  • A serious roof leak

  • No hot water to all taps

  • A blocked or broken toilet

  • Flooding or serious flood damage

  • A failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance on the property

  • All other repairs are considered routine repairs.

All other repairs are considered routine repairs.

If it is after normal working hours and you have a plumbing emergency, you can rely on North Lakes Plumbing to send a qualified professional to assist you anywhere in Brisbane. Call our after-hours team on 0418 797 940.

Tenant Plumbing Responsibilities in Queensland:

Maintenance responsibilities are shared, so it's up to the tenant to ensure all plumbing and amenities are kept clean and treated well.

  • While the landlord manages repairs, the tenant must cover the costs if the damage is caused intentionally or through negligence. This includes kitchen, bathroom and laundry drain blockages caused by items that should not be flushed or washed down. Check out this article by the Water Corporation for a list of things you shouldn't flush.

  • If a repair is urgent, a tenant must make every effort to report it immediately to the real estate agent or landlord of a private rental.

  • The real estate agent or landlord should provide a list of contacts authorised to deal with emergencies, including plumbing repairs.

So, when it comes to the plumbing repairs of a rental property, the responsibility is predominately on the landlord to ensure the plumbing is in reasonable working order throughout the lease term. After that, it's the tenant's responsibility to take care of the amenities and report any faults as soon as possible.

When should the local Council get involved?

Brisbane City Council has rights and responsibilities in relation to the management of community facilities it leases and licenses to the community.

Council rights and obligations

In Brisbane, Council has the right to enter a leased/licensed premises at any reasonable time after giving written notice to the tenant to:

  • View the condition of the premises

  • Check the tenant's compliance with their lease/licence agreement

  • Carry out alterations, additions, or structural works on the premises.

In an emergency, Council may enter at any time without giving prior notice to the tenant.

Council may install, maintain, use and replace pipes, ducts, conduits, and wires passing through leased or licensed premises and run water, air, electricity, sewerage, or any other service as required. It may also grant easements or other rights over the premises.

Council will not interfere with the tenant's use and occupation of the premises more than is reasonably necessary.

If you are looking for a Brisbane-based professional plumber to assist with your issue, get in touch with North Lakes Plumbing for 24/7 support.


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