The owner is responsible for repairing and maintaining the power lines/services within the boundary of the land. In the case of Varghese v Liang-Huang (Tenancy)  NSWCTTT 973, the premises had a telephone outlet. The tenant assumed that there was a fixed network that was working, but there was none. The court found that the lessor is responsible for providing a fixed network, except in the case of a specific exclusion in the lease. The owner is also required to check and ensure that there are no leaks from faucets, toilets or showerheads at the beginning of the rental. If leaks occur in one of the appliances during the tenancy, the tenant must notify the landlord (including in writing) and request repair of the leak. (See also fact sheet 06: Repairs and maintenance). The law stipulates that the owner is responsible for the first installation and connection to an electricity, gas (un bottling) and/or oil supply service. Normally, if there is a supply problem, for example, there is a gas leak, so the first step is to ring the supplier and report it.
You will then check where the problem is – if it is outside the confines of the premises, it is the supplier who is responsible for the repairs. If the problem is on the premises, you should contact the owner/agent in writing. If it`s urgent, you can call first, but you should record the details of all the conversations and send them a letter. You can choose to do the repairs yourself, but then you have to negotiate a written agreement with the owner/agent in advance. (See also fact sheet 06: Repairs and maintenance). Currently, an owner is not required to provide telephone, television or Internet connections with the premises. If you want to install a new connection, you must have the owner`s consent. The installation of a transport service to connect a telephone line or internet is a “minor” change in nature, as stipulated in the regulations. This means that the owner/agent cannot refuse consent inappropriately (see NSW Fair Trading Factsheet `Request for Change` for fairtrading.nsw.gov.au). A landlord/agent who (no repairs or maintenance) intervenes in the supply of gas, electricity, water, telecommunications or other services is contrary to your rental agreement. You can ask the court to order the landlord/agent to stop such an offence and/or restore the delivery, as well as compensation. You must file an application within 3 months of the offence.
You can also apply for a rent reduction for the time you spent without the service, but you must apply before the end of the lease. For help, contact your local tenant counselling and lawyer. See also fact sheet 11: NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal). If water is the only form of supply, the owner should make sure that a tank contains water at the beginning of your rental. Note the water level in the status report. You are responsible for filling the tank. The owner is responsible for the maintenance as well as the associated pumps and electrical systems. They regularly check the proper operation and report (including in writing) any problems to the owner/agent. You are responsible for pumping the septic tank only for your use. You should note the level of septic tank filling in the status report, and if the tank is full (not just your use), you negotiate with your owner to share the cost of the pump.