Spontaneous ceiling collapse - Tenants bulletin 23

This publication is for: 

16 September 2020

Spontaneous ceiling collapse  

Imagine you are eating dinner or watching television and suddenly the ceiling caves in. This may sound far-fetched but unfortunately ceiling collapses are not uncommon. They occur for many reasons including storm damage, water leaks, inappropriate materials or poor workmanship. 

Warning signs

Be on the lookout for any warning signs of ceiling collapse at your home, including:
  • a loud cracking sound in the ceiling;
  • sagging or dropping of the plasterboard sheeting and/or the cornice; and
  • cracks and/or small circles or blisters (nail pops) on the ceiling. These are a sign the plasterboard sheeting may be pulling away from the nails or screws.

Your obligations

A ceiling collapse can cause serious injury and damage both your possessions and a room’s structure.
Let your landlord or property manager know straight away of any damage to your home. This is also an important step if you’ll need to make any claim against your landlord for costs from a ceiling collapse.

Landlord obligations

Your landlord must:
  • keep the premises in a reasonable state of repair during the tenancy,
  • meet building, health and safety laws, and
  • attend to the repairs* in a timely manner, particularly with regard to matters that could be deemed urgent repairs.
The Department’s Building and Energy Division has a guide to help identify that a ceiling may be failing.
*The WA Government’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic means during the emergency period landlords do not need to carry out non-urgent repairs if they are experiencing Covid-19 related financial hardship or access to the property is inhibited due to Covid-19 restrictions.

iRentWA app retirement notice

Consumer Protection launched the iRentWA app in 2014 to help tenants and landlords manage their rental arrangements. We have recently retired the app due to high maintenance cost and all information provided in iRentWA being readily available on the Consumer Protection website.
Users with iRentWA currently installed can continue to use the app, but any problems that arise won’t be able to be fixed.
If you are an existing user, we recommend you export and save any reminders and/or photos stored in the app to avoid possible future loss of this data.
Please note the Consumer Protection website continues to be your go-to place for all renting information.

Need some assistance?

For any enquiries about tenancy rights and responsibilities contact 1300 304 054 or email consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

Consumer Protection
Last updated 16 Sep 2020

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