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Compensation from your landlord

Public liability

If you’ve been injured in your rental property through no fault of your own, you may be eligible to seek compensation from your landlord. Find out how you can make a claim today.

Your guide to claiming compensation from your landlord

Injuries can happen anywhere. But if you’ve had the unfortunate experience of being injured in your rental property, in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you might be able to seek compensation from your landlord. This is known as ‘tenant compensation for inconvenience’. 

Your landlord’s responsibilities

How does it work? Well, landlords have an obligation (sometimes called a ‘duty of care’) to provide you – their tenant – with a safe property to live in. This also extends, to taking taking reasonable steps to avoid harm – or even the risk of harm – to you and your guests.

Your landlord's responsibilities do not require them to make your property as safe as it possibly can be. Nor are they required to replace working items just because a safer version is available. And your landlord isn’t responsible for dangers that they knew nothing about, so it’s important that you let them know if a problem or hazard crops up.

To make sure that they’re meeting their obligations your landlord will arrange for regular building inspections. During these inspections they can make sure that things are working, and that the property is safe for you and your guests. If they find any problems, they’ll also need to hire qualified tradespeople to perform repairs immediately when necessary.

Tenant compensation for inconvenience QLD: In Queensland you have the right to a secure and safe home, reasonable home maintenance, inspections for health risks and to have identified defects amended or removed.

Tenant compensation for inconvenience NSW: In New South Wales your landlord is responsible for ensuring that your property meets all health and safety laws. This includes providing and maintaining locks and allowing tradesmen to enter your property to make repairs in order to avoid health and safety risks to you or your guests.

Tenant compensation for inconvenience VIC: In Victoria landlords must make sure that all rental properties meet basic standards, such as having working locks, hot and cold water and heating (among other things).

Tenant compensation for inconvenience ACT: In the Australian Capital Territory, the landlord is responsible for ensuring the property is maintained, is reasonably secure and meets ceiling insulation standards. They are also responsible for installing and maintaining smoke alarms in working order.

Tenant compensation for inconvenience SA: In South Australia, the landlord is required to maintain your rental property so that it’s safe and habitable.

Tenant compensation for inconvenience TAS: In Tasmania, the landlord is responsible for ensuring the property is in good repair, structurally sound and weatherproof at the beginning of the tenancy.

Tenant compensation for inconvenience WA: In Western Australia, the landlord must ensure the property and contents are in a clean and habitable, have a minimum level of security in place and comply with laws relating to building, health and safety.

Tenant compensation for inconvenience NT: In the Northern Territory landlords are responsible for; providing a reasonable state of repair premises; ensuring the locks and security devices are maintained so that the property is in a reasonable secure state.

What happens if I have a complaint?  

If you have a complaint about your rental property, or your landlord neglects to carry out repairs or maintain the property, you should take the following steps: 

  1. Firstly try to work out a solution with them. Get in touch with your landlord to explain your concerns and ask them to fix the problem. 

  2. Secondly, If you can’t work out a solution directly with your landlord, you can file a breach of duty notice.  For example, you can get a Notice to Remedy Breach form from the Residential Tenancies Authority in Queensland or a Breach of Duty Notice in Victoria. 

  3. Lastly, if your landlord fails to comply with your Breach of Duty notice you can seek compensation.  

What if I have a personal injury? 

It’s important to note that if you or someone you love has experienced pain and suffering, physical injury or death, you must seek compensation in the courts. These are personal injury claims and are governed by personal injury law in your state. For example, these claims in Queensland fall under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (QLD) while in New South Wales they’re covered by the Personal Injury Commission Act 2020 No 18 (NSW).

Get in touch with our expert tenancy lawyers who can help with legal advice for tenants in your specific situation. 

How do I know if I have a claim? 

As a tenant, there are many situations where you might be able to claim compensation from your landlord.  

  • Maybe your landlord failed to conduct regular inspections that would have identified the danger that caused your injury.  

  • Perhaps the landlord was warned of the danger but failed to act within a reasonable timeframe.  

  • Maybe your landlord has made repairs, but they are poor quality or insufficient (and don’t meet your repair rights under state law, such as repair to rental property tenant rights WA or repair to rental property tenant rights SA).

  • Perhaps they were negligent and failed to provide their tenants with the right information.

In these situations, and others, you may have a claim.

If you are experiencing persistent symptoms after being injured, and another person, business or organisation is responsible, you may be able to make a public liability claim.

To help you make a successful claim, we recommend collecting evidence as soon as possible after your injury.

This evidence may include:

Taking photographs of the injury, and the location where the injury occurred.

Writing down what happened to you. Recording the contact details of any witnesses.

Sharing with your lawyer a record of the report you made of your injury and any response you received from those responsible.

Keeping any medical record of your injury. This includes appointment dates, medical certificates and x-rays.

Recording any expenses or lost wages due to your injuries.

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