This is something we’ve all wanted to do! Many of us have been so frustrated with our tenants that we’ve wanted to terminate them permanently! Unfortunately, this methodology of getting rid of tenants is a little illegal.

The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 provides a very clear pathway to terminating tenants.

  • If you wish to terminate a tenant at the expiry of a lease, thirty days notice must be given;
  • If the lease has expired, and the landlord has sold the property, it is also thirty days notice;
  • If the lease has expired, and you want to get rid of your tenant for no particular reason, 90 days notice must be given; and
  • For breaches of the lease including being 15 days in arrears, 14 days notice must be given.

There are some important rules that must be applied. If these rules are not followed, the termination notice is invalid:

  • If the notice is served in person, the time commences from the next business day. Service in person includes posting the termination notice in a letterbox.
  • If the next day is a public holiday, the time does not start until the next business day. For example, if you decide to terminate your tenant on the Thursday before Easter, your timed period does not start until Tuesday of the following week.
  • If you are posting the notice by mail, you must add six business days before you start the time period. For example, if you serve it on a Wednesday, you cannot start the days until Friday of the next week.

This is a warning to all property managers. NCAT stringently enforces these rules. They will refuse a termination and ask you to reissue the termination notice, starting the clock all over again.

A client of Leverage is currently being sued by a landlord where the tribunal rejected the termination notice. The landlords wanted to reside in a tenanted property when they returned from an overseas posting. The extra time that the agent took to remove the tenant because of the void termination notice is claimable. In other words, putting the landlords up in accommodation whilst they await the tenant’s departure is claimable. In this case, the landlord is claiming approximately $6,500 in accommodation and miscellaneous fees.

Both landlords and property managers should be diligent regarding the issue of notices. When setting plans, the landlord needs to be mindful of the above timelines. Alternatively, the property manager is vulnerable if they fail to follow the rules because it is expected by the law that they are the professionals.

Further to our article from 31st August 2017 “Oh Shit; a clever property manager”, I can advise that the reflux has not been completely fixed. The OC did replace the carpet, replace the tiles and repair the property in an efficient manner after being caught on camera. Unfortunately, as this article is being written, the brown bombers are here again.


This article was written by Bailey Compton, Principal Solicitor & Director at Leverage Group.

To get in touch with Bailey, please email or call 1300 438 538