Who pays to fix something depends on who broke it and how.

When something in the house is broken or stops working tell the landlord in writing.

There are rules about how long a landlord or agent can take to fix broken things.

When you move in: 

  • When you move into a new rental place it is important to check if anything is broken.
  • Your landlord must make sure your house is in good condition.
  • Your landlord or agent should give you a condition report  within 3 business days after you move in or get the keys.
  • Check If anything is broken or does not work. Write it down on the condition report and give it to the landlord in the next 5 business days after you got the condition report.
  • If you can, take pictures of anything that is broken or dirty when you move in. This shows it was not your fault so you don’t have to pay for that later.

When something breaks:

  • If anyone (you or your visitor) breaks something on purpose, you may need to pay to fix it. For example, if a visitor gets angry and throws a rock through a window.
  • If anyone breaks something by accident, tell your landlord or agent what is broken and they will pay to fix it.
  • If something stops working or gets broken, but not by you or your visitor, your landlord must fix it.
  • When you tell your landlord or agent about house problems write it down and give it to them. Keep a copy for yourself too.

Text based resources about this topic


Repairs of rental house DCLS factsheet

This factsheet talks about repairs and maintenance on rental houses.

Repairs of rental house NTCA

This is another fact sheet about repairs and maintenance at your rental house.

Watch videos about this topic


About Ombudsman NT – Yolgnu Matha

This video explains what the Ombudsman NT does in Yolgnu Matha language.


About Ombudsman NT – Warlpiri

This video explains what the Ombudsman NT does in Warlpiri language.


About Ombudsman NT – Pitjantjatjara

This video explains what the Ombudsmant NT does in Pitjantjatjara language. 


About Ombudsman NT – Pintupi-Luritja

This video explains what the Ombudsman NT does in Pintupi-Luritja language.


About Ombudsman NT – Murrinh Patha

This video explains what the Ombudsman NT does in Murrinh Patha language.


About Ombudsman NT – Eastside Kriol

This video explains what the Ombudsman NT does in Eastside Kriol language.


About Ombudsman NT – Arrarnta

This video explains what the Ombudsman NT does in Arrarnta language.


About Ombudsman NT – Alyawarra

This video explains what the Ombudsman NT does in Alyawarra language.


Renting in Community

This film tells about your rights when renting a Territory Housing place in a community.


Community Law Stories – Jen’s Broken House Part II


This short video is about talking to the Department of Housing when your house needs repairs.


Community Law Stories – Jen’s Broken House Part I


This short video is about what to do when your house needs repairs because you have damaged it.


What’s the law? – Renting

This short video tells you what to do when you first move into a house, and what you can do if your landlord does not want to give your bond money back.


Glossary: What these words mean


A person who goes somewhere for a short time. For example, anyone who comes into your house with your permission is your visitor.

business day

Any week day (Monday to Friday) that is not a public holiday. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays are not business days.


When something happens that you did not plan or want to happen. For example, I had a car accident when I crashed into a wall.

condition report

When you move into a rental property, it is good to write down anything that is damaged or broken in the house. You might also want to take photos of the damaged things. Usually, you write these things down on a paper (form) called a condition report. This way the landlord cannot ask you to pay for something that was already damaged when you moved in.



The person or company who owns the place that you pay rent to live in.


Someone who is looking after the house for the landlord and collecting rent money.

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