Property Maintenance

While repairs are the responsibility of your landlord, if you have caused damage to the property, your landlord can ask you to arrange and pay for repairs.

Tenants, landlords and agents must follow set procedures when dealing with urgent and non-urgent repairs. Tenants must continue to pay rent even while waiting for repairs. If the matter has been heard by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) you can apply for rent to be paid into VCAT’s Rent Special Account until the matter is resolved.

Of the properties managed by AHV, a small number are owned by AHV, with the remainder being owned by the Dept of Health and Human Services (DHHS). DHHS is responsible for structural maintenance and repairs on their properties and this may impact on how long it takes for repairs to be carried out.

Before reporting maintenance to AHV: some simple checks:

If you have an electrical supply issue: 

  • If multiple lights/power points are not working - check your circuit board. The switches should all be in the same position.
    For a guide on resetting your circuit breaker, see:
    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-reset-a-circuit-breaker.html
  • If your power has gone out after you switched on an appliance - this might mean that the appliance is overloading the circuit or that the appliance is faulty, and needs to be repaired.  
  • If you have sparking power points or lights - turn off the appropriate switch on the circuit board, ensure area and people are safe from harm, and contact your landlord for urgent assistance. 

If you have a water supply issue:

  • If you have no water – please check to see if you have received a disruption notice from your water company. 
  • If you have a severe water leak - please turn water off at the stop tap. The stop tap is located at base of sinks in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. 
  • If you have a burst pipe – turn off water mains located at the front or side of your house to prevent extra water costs. For a guide on how to turn off your water mains, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Io8zWcQirk
  • If you have no hot water – check your pilot light. For a guide on relighting your pilot light, see:      http://www.wikihow.com/Light-a-Water-Heater

If you have a gas supply issue:

  • If you think you may have a gas leak - turn off gas meter, and contact AHV for urgent assistance.  
  • If you have no gas – check that your gas meter is on, and check to see if you have received a notice advising of an interruption to your service. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of property maintenance is AHV responsible for?

AHV is responsible for responsive maintenance on all its properties and provides a 24-hour service.

How do I organise repairs for my property?

The AHV Client Services Team can assist you in organising repairs to your property.

For non-urgent repairs, please email clientservices@ahvic.org.au

For urgent repairs, please call the repair line on: 9403 2150 between 8.30am and 4.30pm.

If you have urgent repairs that require attention outside of these business hours, please call the emergency after-hours repair line: ph. 1300 664 392.

What is responsive maintenance?

Responsive maintenance is day-to-day maintenance or repair works that are carried out on tenanted or vacant public housing and community-managed properties in response to requests for such works, to restore an item or component to its working condition.

How long does it take for maintenance and/or repairs to be completed?

This will depend on the urgency of the issue reported by the tenant. When a tenant makes a request, the issue will be classified as either normal, priority or urgent.

Urgent works will be attended within 24 hours of a work order being raised by the Client Services Team, and received by the sub-contractor.

Priority works will be attended within one week of a work order being raised by the Client Services Team, and received by the sub-contractor.

Normal works will be completed within 1-14 weeks of a work order being raised by the Client Services Team, and received by the sub-contractor.

What details are needed when requesting maintenance and/or repairs?

As AHV properties are not all the same, it is helpful if you can provide specific details about your maintenance or repair request when you contact Client Services. For example, when reporting faults in heating or cooling systems, hot water systems or ovens and stovetops, Client Services needs to know whether the systems are gas or electric. The Client Services Team is trained to assist you in identifying the specifics of your appliances in cases where tenants are unsure.

Once a repair or maintenance request is made, the Client Services Team will raise a work order, which is sent to a sub-contractor for action.

Is my repair request urgent?

The following issues are considered urgent repair requests:

  • A burst water service
  • A blocked or broken toilet system
  • A serious roof leak
  • A gas leak
  • A dangerous electrical fault
  • Flooding or serious flood damage
  • Serious storm or fire damage
  • A failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided by your landlord or agent for hot water, cooking, heating or laundering
  • A failure or breakdown of gas, electricity or water supply
  • Any fault or damage in the premises that makes the premises unsafe or insecure
  • An appliance, fitting or fixture that is not working properly that causes a substantial amount of water to be wasted
  • A serious fault in a staircase.

For urgent repairs, please call the maintenance call centre on: 9403 2150 between 8.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

If you have urgent repairs that require attention outside of these business hours, please call the emergency after-hours repair line: ph. 1300 664 392.

What are the maintenance call centre office hours?

The maintenance call centre office hours are 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Who do I contact for after-hours emergency repairs?

If you have urgent repairs that require attention outside AHV business hours, please call the emergency after-hours repair line: 1300 664 392.

The after hours line is run by an independent call centre that will organise contractors to attend as soon as possible. During business hours, AHV staff will call to follow up on the issue, see that it was attended to properly, ensure that tenants are satisfied with repairs, and organise any necessary follow-up maintenance.

What is fair 'wear and tear'?

In general terms, fair 'wear and tear' includes damage resulting from:

  • Age and reasonable use
  • Wind and weather action
  • Corrosion and termite damage

Friction through normal use of doors and windows.

What happens if my maintenance issue requires further inspection?

Not all issues can be adequately described over the phone, and at times our staff will require photos to ensure information provided to sub-contractors is accurate.

In these cases, the Client Services Team may request a maintenance inspection be done by either your Housing Officer or by one of our Property Compliance Officers.

You will be notified by phone if AHV wishes to arrange an inspection.

All AHV staff members carry identification with their name, photo and AHV logo.

What happens when a sub-contractor needs to complete repairs at my property?

When a work order is raised with a sub-contractor, AHV will request that they contact you prior to attending your property.

In cases where the contractor has been unable to get in contact with you, they may attend and leave a calling card. If a calling card is left at your property, please call the number on the card to get in contact with them directly. You can then arrange an alternative time for them to attend your property.

If the contractor attends your property twice and is unable to complete the maintenance, they will request that your work order be cancelled. You will need to contact AHV and arrange for another work order to be raised, and a new timeframe will be set.

What are tenant responsibility maintenance charges (TRMC’s)?

Tenant Responsibility Maintenance Charges (TRMCs) are the full cost of repairs for damage to property that has been caused by the tenant.

If a tenant, property occupant or visitor has caused damage requiring repairs, an AHV staff member (either an Housing Officer or Technical Property Officer) will visit the property to assess and photograph the damage prior to arranging repairs.

AHV’s Debt Recovery Officer will discuss repayment options with the tenant. Payments will be added to the rent until the amount has been paid in full.

What are tenants' home maintenance responsibilities?

AHV requests that tenants report any maintenance issues as soon as possible with the AHV Client Services Team.

When repairs are required, tenants should make themselves available for contractors to attend, in the timeframe given by Client Services once an assessment of the urgency of the works required is made. Tenants must ensure their contact details are up-to-date.

Tenants must report any unsatisfactory completed repairs or maintenance.

How do I organise a fence replacement?

AHV will organise an assessment of your fence to determine if minor repairs can fix the issue or if a full fence replacement is necessary. If a fence replacement is required and the property is owned by AHV, AHV will request that the tenant sources three quotes and will discuss the costs with the neighboring property.

Am I eligible for a new air-conditioning unit?

As AHV is a not-for-profit organisation, we can only install non-standard items such as air conditioning if there is a medical reason.

Is my property eligible for a carpet replacement?

AHV undertake property improvement projects on a cyclical basis and identify properties for floor covering replacement in our asset maintenance planning.

Can I have my property painted?

AHV undertake property improvement projects on a cyclical basis and identify properties for painting in our asset maintenance planning.

How do I re-light my pilot light?

All gas appliances have relighting instruction that you should follow. If these are not located on the appliance, they can often be looked up online by searching for your appliance name and product number. For a guide on relighting your pilot light, see: http://www.wikihow.com/Light-a-Water-Heater

How do I reset my circuit breaker?

For a guide on resetting your circuit breaker, see: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-reset-a-circuit-breaker.html

How do I check my water meter?

Water meters are normally situated at the front of properties and the meter has a cover over the water usage dial. If this is dial is turning when all taps are turned off inside your property, it may indicate a leak.

How do I organise garden maintenance?

Garden maintenance is the responsibility of the tenant. If required, the tenant can engage a yard maintenance service. Alternatively, AHV can provide a service at a charge to the tenant.

How do I organise rubbish removal?

Rubbish removal is the responsibility of the tenant. If required, the tenant can engage a rubbish removal service at their expense. Alternatively, AHV can provide a service at a charge to the tenant.

Can I get a bungalow?

Depending on your property, you may be able to get a bungalow. Please contact your Housing Officer to discuss your eligibility.

Can I install items in the property?

Depending on your property and the items you wish to install, this might be possible. Please contact your Housing Officer to discuss your eligibility and details.

Can I install items outside my property?

Depending on your property and the items you wish to install, this might be possible. Please contact your Housing Officer to discuss your eligibility and details.

How do I report unsatisfactory repair work?

If you have had unsatisfactory repairs carried out at your property, please report these to the repair line on: 9403 2150 between 8.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Am I eligible for alternative accommodation during maintenance?

This will depend on the nature of the maintenance. Most maintenance works can be carried out while tenants are still in the property, however more significant or structural maintenance may require tenants to relocate temporarily. 

What do I do if there has been a fire at my property?

If there has been a fire at your property, please contact AHV as soon as possible. If your property is not AHV-owned, we will provide a report to the Department of Health and Human Services in order to arrange any necessary repairs.

Can I have a pet in my property?

Yes, you can have a pet. When you submit your application for housing, you will need to complete a form with details about your pet. The pet must be compliant with local council regulations.