TenantsTips / Australia / How does a landlord end a tenancy agreement

How does a landlord end a tenancy agreement

This article offers tenants advice and information on tenancy agreements, looking at the rights of the landlord to terminate an agreement early and the rights of a tenant regarding this issue.

In usual circumstances your landlord is required to give you a termination notice if they wish to end a tenancy agreement. A tenancy agreement is effectively terminated when a tenant gives vacant possession of a property and returns the keys to the landlord.

If you fail to vacate the property by the date detailed in your termination notice your landlord may make an application to the NSW Civil Administrative Tribunal for a termination order. An order from NCAT ends the tenancy and gives you a date by which you must vacate the property.

Can my landlord end my tenancy agreement early without notice?

Yes, in certain circumstances your landlord can apply for a termination order from the New South Wales Civil Administrative Tribunal without giving you notice.

What is a termination notice?

A termination notice is a written notice from a landlord informing a tenant that the landlord wishes to end a tenancy agreement. A termination notice should be in writing, it should be signed and dated by the landlord and should include the following:

  • The address of the property that relates to the agreement.
  • The date by which the tenant must give vacant possession.
  • The reason for the termination of the tenancy (if applicable).

Landlords are required to deliver a termination notice in person, by post or fax. If a notice is posted, 4 days must be allowed for delivery.)

How much notice must a landlord give a tenant?

How much notice a landlord is required to give depends on the grounds for termination and the type of tenancy agreement.

  • If there are no grounds for termination a landlord must give notice of 30 days if you have a fixed-term agreement and 90 days if you have a periodic agreement.
  • If the landlord wishes to sell the property they must give notice of 30 days to tenants with a periodic agreement. A notice period is not applicable for tenants with a fixed-term agreement.
  • If you are given a termination notice for breach of agreement your landlord must give you 14 days’ notice. This applies to tenants with both fixed-term agreements and periodic agreements.
  • A landlord is entitled to give immediate notice if a property is deemed destroyed or unusable.

Termination notices:

Termination of a tenancy agreement without reasonable ground:

Fixed term agreements:

If you have a fixed-term agreement and there are no grounds your landlord cannot end your agreement before the last day of the fixed term. If the agreement is not terminated at the end of the term it becomes a periodic agreement. If your landlord wishes to end your tenancy at the end of the fixed term they are obliged to give you a notice period of 30 days.

Periodic agreements:

Periodic agreements can be ended by the landlord with a notice period of 90 days.

Long-term agreements:

Your landlord may apply for a termination order from NCAT if you have been a tenant in the same property for 20 years or more and your fixed-term agreement has expired. If NCAT grant a termination order you will be given 90 days to vacate the property.

Termination of a tenancy for breach of agreement:

If you breach your tenancy agreement the landlord is entitled to give you a 14 day termination notice. This applies to both fixed-term and periodic agreements.

Termination for non-payment of rent:

If you breach your agreement solely as a result of rent arrears the landlord may serve you with a non-payment termination notice. This notice can only be served if the rent remains unpaid for 14 days.

Termination for the purpose of sale:

Fixed-term agreements cannot be terminated solely because the property is for sale.

If you have a periodic agreement your landlord may serve you with a 30 day termination notice if they have entered a sale contract which requires vacant possession of the property.

Can I be evicted without an order from the NCAT?

Before an eviction can take place your landlord must follow correct procedure. It is illegal to evict a tenant without a NCAT or court order. If a landlord does not follow correct procedure they can be fined up to $22,000 and liable for compensation.

What happens if NCAT make an order?

If NCAT grant a termination order they will give you a date by which you must give vacant possession of the property. You should obey the instructions as detailed in the order.



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