As a DIY landlord you’re bound to come across evicting tenants that drive you crazy no matter what you offer in terms of inclusions or rental discounts. Unfortunately it’s a fact of life if you decide to manage you’re own investment property– but what are your rights when you need to evict tenants? Australia has relatively strong laws that favour tenants in most cases, so you have to be prepared when it comes down to serving an eviction notice. Read on to find out more about how to you can remove a problem tenant and the steps you should take in order to make the process 100% legal and fair.
Choosing to be a DIY landlord is a massive responsibility. It’s your duty to keep up to date with the complex and often fluid framework that’s associated with residential and commercial tenants.
That being said, ignorance of these laws isn’t an excuse for poor management practices. Knowing your and their rights is necessary if you intend on evicting tenants from your investment property. That last thing you want is to lose time and money trying to resolve a problem with your tenants, only to find they’re flouting the law and taking advantage of your willingness to help.
Want a solution? Keep up to date with all aspects of lessee/lessor legislation and make sure your renters have signed a tenancy agreement. That way if they fail to pay rent in advance, cause significant damage to the property etc., you’re adequately covered and have legal grounds for evicting tenants.
You may be putting yourself in the line of fire if you don’t document absolutely everything going on with your rental property. This includes discussions with tenants, the condition of the property and requests for repairs made by the tenant in writing. By recording all correspondence between you and your renters you can support yourself if a matter ends up going before tribunal.
Your rights and the rights of your tenants differ within each state. If you’re serious about evicting tenants, then you have to know the laws specific to where the investment property is located. Tenancy databases, bonds, rent increases, security, repairs and time frames for urgent and non-urgent maintenance, plus the frequency of routine inspections and the serving of notices (tribunal or eviction notices) are often unique to each state. We’ve covered the basics regarding evicting tenants, however we recommend always trying to come to amicable solution before considering eviction. If in doubt, talk to a licensed tenancy lawyer and remember that as a rule of thumb, all termination notices must:
In NSW it’s compulsory to give at least 14 days notice if you wish to evict a tenant due to misconduct on the tenants’ part. This includes if the tenants are 14 days or more behind with their rent, or if they have otherwise breached your pre-defined tenancy agreement. In some situations you may not need to provide a notice for eviction. These include:
If you wish to end a tenancy agreement before the specific tenancy period has expired in Queensland, you must complete a Form 12: Notice to leave form and give a physical copy to the tenants. For general tenancies the following timeframes apply:
For Western Australia you need to follow procedure and fill out a form relevant to your cause for evicting tenants, whether it be payment based or for other reasons. If your tenants fall behind on their rent by 1 day you must give them a Form 21: Breach notice for non-payment of rent, or write to the tenant. They then have 14 days to bring their rent up to date. If its still not paid within the 14 days you’re then able to issue a Form1A: Notice of termination for non-payment of rent. This will end the agreement and the tenants will have to vacate within the next 7 days. Other grounds for ending an agreement include:
If you’re a DIY landlord in South Australia your first course of action for evicting tenants is to give legal notice that outlines the problem and the date you’d like the tenant to vacate the property if the issue isn’t resolved. Tenants can be seen as breaking their agreement if they:
In the Northern Territory notices to vacate must be specific to the reason. A notice of termination by the landlord or managing agent must:
For a periodic tenancy, a landlord may terminate the tenancy without a specified reason with 42 days notice to the tenant.
The ACT has distinctive processes and notice periods dependent on whether the tenants haven’t paid rent or are being evicted for other reasons. In the ACT, terminating an tenancy can only be carried out in accordance with the Standard Tenancy Terms (STT) as well as the Residential Tenancy Act 1997. In addition to this, only the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal can order an eviction and only the police can carry it out.
A DIY landlord or property manager can evict a tenant in Tasmania for the following reasons:
As a landlord in Victoria you are able to have a tenancy agreement terminated for a range of reasons. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, there is also different notice periods applicable. Immediate notices before the end of lease date include:
While 14 days notice can be carried out:
Of course all these stipulations, laws and regulations are subject to change. By keeping up to date with all legislatures as it applies to you and your tenant, you can ensure that your dream of the perfect property investment doesn’t turn into a real life rental nightmare. There’s a wealth of information available online these days that will also help you understand what it takes to cancel an agreement with a problem tenant. This includes the Residential Tenancy Act, which can be accessed via state government websites.
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