The best way to terminate a tenancy

Sometimes investors may need to terminate tenancy but it’s not something that can be done easily.

Unlike when tenants provides notice on their intention to leave, the process for landlords isn’t as smooth, and this is because of the significant rules and regulations surrounding property investment.  for lease rent tenant

Of course it is fair and reasonable that tenants’ rights are protected, as is their right to quiet enjoyment of the property during their tenure there.

But sometimes a landlord may wish to end a tenancy because a tenant fails to pay rent or is damaging the property or perhaps the investor wants to shift into the property themselves.

Alternatively, they may want to sell the property with vacant possession and sometimes, landlords just want the current tenant out because they’re too much hard work, which a lot of state authorities call “termination without giving a reason”.

But whatever the situation,  there are certain rules in each state that must be adhered to if problems are to be avoided and a positive result is to be achieved.key house first home rent lease move

In Australia, each state is governed by its own laws concerning tenancies, with each party’s rights well protected by the Residential Tenancy Act or similar in each state.

It’s important to keep abreast of any changing state laws, which do seem to be reviewed and altered relatively regularly.

Likewise changes to tenancy laws in some states tend to give more leeway to the errant tenant and less control to the landlord, which isn’t overly helpful for investors.

That’s why it’s so important to have an investment savvy property manager looking after your investment property.

So, how do you initiate the process of ending a tenancy in Australia?

First of all, it’s important to understand that there are two types of tenancies in Australia: fixed term(for a specific period of time); and periodic, either week to week, or month to month. 

The period of notice that you must give to the tenant before they move out varies depending on the type of tenancy and the state or territory legislation which is in force in that particular jurisdiction.

If you or the tenant break any of the terms of the tenancy agreement, the agreement can be terminated.

For example, if your tenant doesn’t pay the rent on time, you can give notice to vacate by a certain time.

Likewise, if you fail to respect your tenant’s privacy or don’t maintain the premises, they can give notice that they’ll vacate.

There are set ways to end all tenancy agreements and these vary slightly from state to state, so even if an agreement has a fixed end date, you have to provide written notice to
the tenant in a particular way.

As the tenant’s rights to remain in the property are protected, if you want to end the tenancy you should check the reasons allowed for giving notice in your state to end a tenancy agreement; whether the notice needs to be given with an official notice or form; and how much notice you need to give before the end of the tenancy agreement.legal2

Landlords should also keep accurate records of all transactions and communications between themselves and their tenants.

This is because if any disputes reach the tribunal stage, you’re going to need written evidence of everything to support your case.

Smart property investors understand that the services of a property manager can reduce any of these problems and indeed can prevent from them occurring in the first place.

Make sure the property manager properly vets potential tenants and presents investors with a list of choices and references so they can  make an informed decision.

With the highly regulated nature of property investment ownership, it’s vitally important that investors understand the relevant laws that they must adhere too or access expert access and support about these matters.

Of course it’s much easier to outsource this to your property manager

This will ensure their property investment journey is smooth, even if they have to terminate a tenancy from time to time.


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Leanne Jopson


Leanne is National Director of Property Management at Metropole and a Property Professional in every sense of the word. With 20 years' experience in real estate, Leanne brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to maximise returns and minimise stress for their clients. Visit: Metropole Property Management

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