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Tenant Troubleshooting Guide

At Ray White Townsville we understand that when there is maintenance required on your property, you want things done as soon as possible. Quite often we find that some basic troubleshooting will fix the problem instantly without requiring a tradesman to attend the property or provide some guidance for after hours issues and how to manage it through the night until the next business day. We have developed this simple yet effective troubleshooting guide for our tenants to review when they encounter problems with their rental property.

This can also save you money in incorrect call out fees where the problem could have been fixed yourself or was caused by your own appliances. It will help identify more details on the issues you are having so we can send the correct tradesman the first time and the item is repaired promptly.

Below are some of the commonly encountered tenant problems. Please ensure you try these BEFORE submitting your maintenance request.



Your street may be suffering a temporary interruption or fault. Check to see if your neighbours or other houses in the street have power, if not contact Ergon Energy Faults on 13 22 96.

If you live in a townhouse or apartment, there may be an interruption or fault that affects the complex. Check with a neighbour to ascertain this. If the problem is complex-wide, contact the Body Corporate manager and Ergon Energy.

Perhaps the safety switch has been activated, reset the safety switch in the fuse/meter box – (if the safety switch turns off immediately do not attempt to reset again).

Perhaps one of your appliances is faulty (for example, your fridge, toaster or kettle) Here is how to test this:

* Note if you call out an electrician and your appliance is at fault, you will be invoiced for the call-out charges*


Has the safety switch has been activated? Reset the safety switch in the fuse/meter box. You may have a blown light bulb – replace the light bulb and try the light again.

You may have a faulty appliance – Try plugging the appliance into a different power socket. If it still does not work, the appliance is most likely broken.



The energy supply may not yet have been connected. Ensure electricity has been connected to the property and ensure circuit breaker is not off in the fuse/meter box.

Ensure to check if there is a cooktop/oven isolation switch usually located on the wall or in a power point nearby, ensure it is on. Some ovens require the timer/clock to be set to enable the oven to start.


Check you have gas and that the bottles are turned on. The gas igniter may be obstructed. Ensure the element is correctly positioned on the stove top. Ensure gas has been connected to the property and turned on and you have paid your most recent gas bill.


The machine may not be correctly connected to water and electricity. Ensure that the taps are turned on at the wall, that the appliance is plugged in and that the power point is switched on.

The machine is overloaded or is out of balance. If the machine stops halfway through a cycle, it may be overloaded. Rearrange the items evenly in the drum and try it again.

The machine’s lid/door may not be shut fully or properly.


The machine may not be connected to the power. Ensure the machine is plugged in and that the power point is on.

Ensure you have pushed the button in completely (some dryers have a button on the door which acts as a safety switch and requires some extra force to engage properly). Tumble driers automatically shut down when the lint filter is overloaded. Clean the lint filter every time you use the drier.


The remote control batteries may be flat. Try a new set of batteries in the remote control. Check that the garage electric motor is plugged in and turned on.

Check that the manual override lever (which is usually attached to the chain which comes out of the motor and has a string and a handle attached) check that it has not been pulled and disengaged from the chain (when dis-engaged it allows you to open the door with a key or lift the door manually)

Check that nothing obstructs the doors.



Check that the air conditioner is connected to power. Most Split system air conditioners will have a power switch near or next to the external a/c box, check that it is turned on. Try turning it off for 5 minutes and then turn on again.

Check batteries in the remote (in some cases the remote may need replacing and the unit is not syncing with the remote correctly).

Is your air conditioning on tariff 33? In Townsville there is an option to have air conditioning connected to tariff 33 which is a cheaper power supply, but it also is a load-controlled power supply which means in times of peak power grid loads, tariff 33 will be shut off for 1-3 hours in various rotating locations to supply more peak power load when required. There is no physical way to check if your air conditioning is connected to tariff 33, but if it goes off, or a more than one goes off at any period, wait up to 3 hours and try to switch it back on as it may be on this tariff.


Check that the air conditioner COOLING mode is selected and Not fan or heat mode. Ensure the dust filter is clean (this is a tenant responsibility to keep clean)


If your air conditioner starts to drip water internally to the house or you smell or feel damp areas around the air conditioner and associated wall – switch it off immediately. Notify your property manager.


If your smoke detector is beeping it is usually an indication the battery is low – remove the cover and insert a 9volt battery. If it is still beeping this signifies that there is maybe an issue with the unit. If this is the case, please submit your request immediately.

If Your smoke alarm does not have a 9volt battery it is most likely the latest Lithium Ion battery technology and is a sealed unit – Contact your property manager immediately.


If your property has solar power and you notice any error light on the inverter or unusual issues with the inverter or solar panels or associated hardware – Notify your property manager immediately.

Be sure not to stack or store items around the inverter which will prevent airflow and cooling.

Solar inverters in extremely hot weather have the potential to cause fire hazards, if you see your inverter smoking or on fire – RING 000 IMMEDIATELY – if safe to do so go to the fuse/meter box for the house and turn all switches to off. Contact your property manager immediately.



Did you remember to arrange your Gas/Electricity supply company when you moved? Perhaps the tap to fill the system has been turned off? Ensure that the tap is turned on fully.

If you have an ELECTRIC system:

  • Ensure that the safety switch in the fuse/meter box is engaged.
  • Does the hot water system need refilling or topping up? Avoid this by checking the overflow valve approximately every 6 months.
  • Usually, there is a copper valve on an electric hot water system and an overflow pipe. Pull up the lever until water begins to come out of the overflow pipe.

If you have a GAS system:

  • Ensure that the valve on the gas meter or bottles has been turned on.
  • Ensure you have gas. Check if the bottle/s is light to move?
  • Ensure that the valve on the gas meter or bottles has been turned on.
  • Check the pilot light. If it has gone out, follow the user instructions to relight it. (Some systems may require a tradesperson to do this but in most cases, self-lighting is easy if instructions are followed) instructions are generally found on the unit or inside a panel to access the relight button, alternatively you can Google most makes and models for manufacturer guide to relight the unit.


Report a major blockage to your property manager. However, if your sink or shower takes a long time to drain try using Draino or similar product to free the blockage. Clear hair and old soap from the waste pipe and drains, and pour hot water down the drain.

Remove old food from the kitchen outlet and pour boiling water down the drain. Never put fat and oil into a drain as these clog up the pipes.

Note: if a blockage is caused by excessive human hair or sanitary items being flushed causing the blockage then you will be responsible for the tradesman to attend.


If a tap won’t turn off and water is gushing go to the mains which are usually situated in the front yard of the property and turn off the mains tap and call your property manager or the office number immediately.


If your automatic irrigation is not turning on when scheduled check that the irrigation controller is plugged into power and turned on. Ensure that the controller is turned to AUTOMATIC. Test the system using manual control from the controller to ensure sprinklers are working.

If your irrigation system will not turn off, go to controller box, turn switch to OFF, if this does not work, look for the valves in the ground usually located near the controller box (tip: follow the wires from the controller box to the valves) Turn the manual lever to turn water supply off to sprinklers, if this does not work turn mains water off and notify your property manager immediately.

If your irrigation is leaking, follow the same steps for irrigation not turning off. If you are unable to isolate the leak turn the mains water off and notify your property manager immediately.

If you were unable to resolve your issue using the above guide, please submit your maintenance request.