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Right to compensation for water ingress into a tenanted unit

If you are a tenant and live in a unit affected by water ingress from a neighbour’s unit, you may be entitled to compensation from the lessor or the person/entity who leased you the property (eg. property manager).  What can be affected?  When there is a flood of water from the above or adjacent unit […]

Right to compensation for water ingress into a tenanted unit

Right to compensation for water ingress into a tenanted unit

By Aylward Game - Jan 27, 2022 Property Law

If you are a tenant and live in a unit affected by water ingress from a neighbour’s unit, you may be entitled to compensation from the lessor or the person/entity who leased you the property (eg. property manager). 

What can be affected? 

When there is a flood of water from the above or adjacent unit into your unit, it can cause damage to your possessions and the situation can adversely affect your occupation of the unit. In a hypothetical scenario, the ingress can affect the following. (Note that the list is not exhaustive)

Your electricity, cooling appliances such as ceiling fan, furniture items such as lounge, and carpeting materials.  

What can be compensated for?

  • Disruption to your ordinary daily life
  • Loss of full use of kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and toilet
  • Inconvenience and distress suffered by a tenant

How do I notify the lessor or property manager about my issue?

Once the above issue arises, you as the tenant are required to issue a notice to remedy the breach and send this to your lessor (if the unit is directly managed by the lessor) or to your property manager as soon as possible.

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Is notice to the lessor or property manager necessary?

The short answer is yes, but it also depends. For instance, in Rental Express Pty Ltd v Finch & Sweeney [2015] QCATA 149, it was said a notice to remedy breach was relevant because the tenant who wished to terminate the tenancy was required to issue a notice to remedy the breach. But, in some compensatory claims such as the above, it cannot be said that a claim against a lessor or property manager cannot be brought if a notice to remedy breach has not been issued.

What else do I need to do in case of water ingress to my unit?

Obtain legal advice if you are able to. Making sure that you take photos of all damaged and affected areas including any household item such as a mattress. Also, ensure that before disposing of any damaged item, you document and keep evidence of why and how they were disposed of (eg. If keeping the damaged mattress affected by the ingress of water in the unit will be a health issue for tenants). It is best that you seek legal advice as to whether you are able to dispose of any damaged item, and if so, how to document it.

For advice or assistance with all residential and commercial property matters contact the Property Law Team at Aylward Game Solicitors today at 1800 217 217

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