Your maintenance responsibilities

About the DHA Residence Agreement

Under the terms of your DHA Residence Agreement (DRA) you must notify us of any damage, defects or deterioration to the property. Early notification will help us to maintain the property in good condition during your tenancy. All routine maintenance requests are recorded and our policy is to respond to all requests within 28 days.

Wear and tear

Fair wear-and-tear

We understand that over time there will be some deterioration due to the normal ageing process and use of the property. This deterioration is called ‘fair wear-and-tear’ (FWT). You will not be charged for repair of FWT.

Non-fair wear-and-tear

Any damage from mistreatment or neglect (including pet damage) is considered non-fair wear-and-tear (NFWT). You will be charged for the repair of NFWT. Speak with your Property Manager to determine how the repairs will be made, the cost of the repairs and the payment method.

If you arrange or carry out any work on the property, it must be to a professional standard. This means to the standard carried out by a specialist licensed contractor. Any work on the property that is not at a professional standard will be identified as a tenant charge on your Inspection Condition Report (ICR).

Property item

Swimming pools

Some Service Residences have existing swimming pools. In these properties there are clear responsibilities for you and us. If you select a property with a swimming pool, it is important that you’re aware of the responsibilities associated with this.

Your responsibilities include:

  • ensuring that all gates and doors to the pool area and surrounding grounds are kept securely closed and locked when not in use
  • ensuring all warning notices are clearly visible
  • ensuring items such as pot plants, chairs, boxes and play equipment that could be used to climb the barrier are not left within 1.2 metres
  • the care and maintenance of the pool including the purchasing of chemicals, filters and other equipment
  • ensuring all latches on the access gates and doors of the safety barrier are in good working order, and if found to be faulty, are reported immediately to the Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342).

Our responsibilities include:

  • maintaining the safety barrier, access gates and doors to the pool area
  • ensuring all prescribed warning notices are provided
  • recording the presence of unauthorised alterations and additions to swimming pools and fencing
  • demonstrating the operation and maintenance requirements of the pool.

If you wish to install a swimming pool, read about modifying your service residence.

Lawns and gardens

You are responsible for looking after the grounds, lawns and gardens of your property. This includes watering, weeding, fertilising, trimming of shrubs and the removal of garden waste. If your property is part of an owners’ corporation or unit development, and you are not sure whether you are responsible for lawn and garden maintenance, please contact your Regional Offices (RO) for advice.

You should be aware that:

  • it is your responsibility to source information regarding water restrictions
  • in areas of water restrictions, you are required to water during specified hours to keep lawns and gardens alive and well maintained
  • in areas where there are total bans on watering, lawns and gardens are to be kept tidy and dead litter must be removed
  • the status of water restrictions is not an excuse for exemption from any tenant charges where it is clear that there has been neglect in the care of lawns and gardens.

Fire hazards

You must remove any undergrowth that could be a potential fire hazard including dead vegetation and leaves. If there is significant undergrowth on a property that could make the property more susceptible to fire, we will contact you and ask for its removal. If you do not remove the material as agreed, then you will be responsible for the cost of a DHA contractor removing it.

Bins

In most areas local councils supply bins to the property but the maintenance of these bins is your responsibility. If you need to replace a bin, you should contact the local council. Depending on the circumstances, you may be liable for the replacement costs levied by the local council.

Pest control

We are responsible for:

  • eliminating pests that threaten your property (e.g. termites, carpet beetles)
  • infestations that are identified within six weeks of you moving in to the property and
  • infestations that occur due to plague movements in the region (as identified by local government authorities).

Day-to-day control of pests is your responsibility. If you suspect a major infestation or plague movement, contact your RO. The presence of a small number of spiders, ants or cockroaches is extremely difficult to eradicate, especially if housing is located in close proximity to natural bushland. Small occurrences are not regarded as infestations.

Preventing termite damage to the property

If you detect termite activity at your property, contact your RO immediately. You are not responsible for the cost of treatment required to rid the property of termites. Housing built in high-risk areas generally have termite protection measures put in place during construction. However, if wood, soil or mulch is stored close to the property, termites may still gain access. Items stored in garages and sheds may also be at risk.

Your local regional office (RO) can tell you if you are in a high-risk area and how you can minimise the risk of termite damage to your property and personal property.