Repair Responsibilities

This topic can often cause both landlords and tenants the most confusion. At times either side will see the situation as the other person's problem. Also, if the tenant does not make early repair requests, or if the landlord ignores these requests, the problem grows and affects the safety of the tenant and the value of the home; causing even more problems between tenant and landlord.

Landlord Responsibilities

The landlord shall provide the premises at the start of the tenancy
  • in a reasonable state of repair
  • in a reasonable state of cleanliness
  • in a reasonable secure condition
Tenant Responsibilities
  • keep the unit clean, dispose of garbage, do not damage the property or allow a guest to do so
  • fix things you break or damage. This does not include "normal wear and tear"
  • use the facilities (electrical, plumbing, etc) as they are designed. Misuse maycause damage
  • when moving, leave your apartment in good clean condition
Warranty Period

If there are any defecgts to the unit during the first month, the tenant shall fill up the Defects List and submit it to the landlord through his agent. The defect(s) shall be rectified at the landlord's cost but after the warranty period, the tenant will have to bear the cost.

Tenant's Obligations

Minor maintenance such as replacing light bulbs, fuses, tap washers, sink choke and drain blockage etc., are the responsibility of the tenant.

Minor Repair Cost

The tenant shall be responsible for all minor repairs and routine maintenance of the premises and all parts thereof including all drainage, sanitary equipment, water apparatus and electrical installation, so long as the cost per item per incident does not exceed the sum of $150 (this sum could be more or less). Such expenditure in excess of $150 shall be borne jointly by the tenant and the landlord, with the first $150 borne by the tenant and the remaining by the landlord provided such damage is not due to the negligence of the tenant.

Regular Servicing of Air-Conditioning Units

Most apartments have air-conditioning units installed in the unit and for the said premises to be in good and tenantable repair and condition, the air-conditioning units have to be serviced and maintained at least once every 3 months at the expense of the tenant by a reliable air-conditioning contractor.

The landlord should be responsible for the repair and replacement of parts in respect of the air-conditioning unit installed at the said premises provided such damage or defect is not caused by any act, default, neglect or omission on the part of the tenant or any of its servants, agents, occupiers, contractors, guests or visitors.

Normal Wear and Tear

It is important for everyone to understand the definition of 'normal wear and tear." This is expecially important to tenants leaving a unit, as it can affect the return of their deposit. It is also helpful as you make requests for repairs.

All units will undergo some wear and tear. Someone in a unit for only 6 months will have less wear and tear than someone in a unit for 5 years.

Repairs and Mitigation

If you find that the property requires repair, you have a duty to promptly report the issue to the landlord. If you fail to report negative conditions about the property, you can be held liable for any increased damage to the property that results from not reporting the problem. This is called "mitigating the harm."

The duty to mitigate means that even if you do not want an item repaired, you still have a responsibility to report damage, so that the landlord has the opportunity to attemp a repair.

Making requests for repairs
  • call your agent and him know about the problem
  • follow his call with a dated letter of a defect's list form prescribed by your agent that confirms all that was discussed in the conversation; the problem, how long it has occurred, and how it has affected you or the property. You might wish to email as an attachment to your agent so that you know for certain that the landlord got it.
  • keep copies of all letters/defects list sent and whether it has been resolved

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Margaret Chan
Associate Director
CEA Licence No.:
L3007360H / R001616D
+(65) 9662 1151