Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 November 2021) . . Page.. 3848 ..
state that repairs must be completed within 20 days of a request being received. Responding to a question on notice about repairs, you said that providers must meet Housing ACT’s obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, which states:
… the lessor must make repairs, other than urgent repairs, within 4 weeks of being notified …
The Housing ACT tenancy agreement has the same four-week time line following notification. Why, then, Minister, did you respond to a question on 24 June stating that the repair time line is triggered only once an assessment of that request has been done?
MS BERRY: I can provide some information about that. Of course, when a notification is made to the total facilities management operator they need to go out and assess the repair work. If the repair work needed is more than has been identified in the original request, the time frame will shift.
The initial response is that the repair work will happen within that period, but after an assessment is made, it could be the case—and it depends on individual circumstances—that there are more issues that are identified when the total facilities manager turns up to a person’s home and does an assessment. That is the reason why sometimes it takes a bit longer for repairs to occur—sometimes those repairs require more work and take longer to get resolved.
MR PARTON: Minister what is the time frame generally from when requests are received to when they are assessed, given that some tenants are waiting several months?
MS BERRY: I think that has been identified in the answer to Mr Parton’s first question. It does depend on each individual circumstance and the types of repairs that are required.
MR CAIN: Minister, why is there such a time lag between an assessment being done and the repair work being approved and then completed?
MS BERRY: I can help Mr Cain and Mr Parton to understand. In some circumstances it might be that there just is not a time that is suitable for both the public housing tenant and the total facilities management team for people to go in and do the assessment of the repairs. Again, it depends on the types of repairs that are required: whether they are significant or whether they are something that is relatively easy, that can be repaired in a shorter period. If it is a significant repair of something in a tenant’s home, it is going to take longer than 20 days. For example, if it is a kitchen upgrade or the painting of a whole house, there is a whole lot of planning work that needs to go into place.
If Mr Cain knows somebody who has made representations to him about repair work, if he could get in touch with my office or encourage that person to get in touch with total facilities management in the first place to make sure that they can have their