The tenant made a workers comp claim and on appeal the NSW tribunal found the tenant to be an employee of the Landlord for the purposes of workers compensation apparantly because the Landlord agreed to pay the tenant.
Property Managers should inform Landlords that if they approve of a tenant doing their own repairs and pay the tenant, then in the event of an accident/injury the tenant could be found to be an employee of the Landlord for the purposes of a workers comp claim. This then would require the Landlord to be enrolled as an employer with WorkCover.
Even if a Landlord approves a tenant to do their own repairs without payment, implications could arise for the Landlord under the proposed Work Health & Safety Act (due to become law sometime in the next few months – probably Jan 2013) if the tenant was to have an accident. Even now there may be implications under common law.
The safest course of action for property managers is to advise a Landlord to only have qualified tradespersons carry out repairs, possibly even down to a tap washer.
Source of article dated 7th May 2012: Real Estate Employers’ Federation SA/NT