Landlord ordered to pay tenant $2,100 over ant and hot water problems

Landlord forced to pay renter $2,100 for repairs at Weston house, NSW

A landlord has been ordered to pay their former tenant $2,100 for failing to keep the property ‘in reasonable repair’ after receiving a series of complaints about the house.

Debbie Mudford had moved into the home in Weston, in NSW‘s Hunter region, in July 2021 and paid $390 a week in rent.

The tenant lived with a raft of problems including a faulty hot water system, ant infestation, and a broken front gate that had been blown off by strong winds. 

A fed-up Ms Mudford took legal action against her landlord and made an application to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) in June 2022.

She requested a reduction in her rent, repairs to the house and $7,500 in compensation. Ms Mudford moved out of the property months later in August.

A landlord has been ordered to pay their former tenant $2,100 after they complained about an ant problem, a faulty hot water system and a gate being blown off in the wind (stock image)

NCAT handed down its decision in October and found ‘the landlord failed to keep premises in reasonable repair’.

Ants had been found in the kitchen with Ms Mudford paying $360 for pest control to take care of the problem.

The hot water system was also found to be leaking during an inspection of the house in October 2021.

A relief valve for the hot water system was replaced in November, but in December Ms Mudford told her landlord there was no hot water.

The landlord took a week to replace the hot water system, which left Ms Mudford facing huge water and gas bills.

The tenant had to pay $360 in water and gas from October 29 to January 4 when the water system was finally fixed.

Ms Mudford also complained about the dishwasher, which didn’t work from November 2021 up until when she moved out nine months later.

‘The Tribunal finds that, as a result of the landlord’s failure to repair or replace the dishwasher, the tenant suffered inconvenience, loss and damage,’ the tribunal found.

The front gate on the house had also flown off during windy weather in November 2021 and was not replaced when Ms Mudford still lived there.

‘The Tribunal finds that as a result of the landlord’s failure to repair or replace the gate, the tenant suffered inconvenience, loss and damage, and a significant reduction of security and privacy,’ the tribunal found.

The landlord was ordered to pay compensation for the ants, the faulty hot water system and dishwasher, and the broken gate – totalling $2,100. 

Other claims put forward by Ms Mudford, such as damage to her car, were dismissed. 


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