News

Moving on: How tenancies in the ACT may come to an end

By Ben Faulks

Ideally, good tenants stay in your rental property indefinitely. When tenants stay put, strong relationships can be built on mutual trust and you can guarantee your property is being looked after.

Unfortunately, circumstances can change and tenancy agreements may no longer be working out – either for you or your tenant. When it comes to occupants of real estate in Canberra, we're far less prone to move home – with 51.3 per cent of householders in the ACT having lived in their current home for more than 10 years, according to Roy Morgan. However, on a nationwide scale only one in every 10 Aussies who rent have lived in one place for a decade.

So, how is it that tenancies can come to and end? Here, we outline how and why you may find yourself terminating a tenancy agreement.

Termination by agreement in the ACT

The simplest kind of termination is one where both the landlord and tenant reach an agreement regarding vacating of the property. For this to happen, the tenant must be served with a Notice to Vacate, and given adequate time to arrange a new home. The minimum period a landlord must give depends on the reason for the termination. 

In other cases, the tenant may choose to leave and issue a Notice of Intention to Vacate. A tenant doesn't need any specific reason to terminate an agreement after the end of a fixed-term (periodic lease), however ending tenancy before that point would be breaking the lease. When the lease is broken, the landlord may be able to seek compensation for rent lost. 

Reasons for termination by the landlord

First of all, it's important to know that under no circumstances may a landlord terminate a fixed term tenancy agreement without any strong grounds. Once the fixed term is over, or in the case of a periodic lease, there are a number of reasons you may choose to terminate, each with pre-determined notice periods.

  • If the landlord or an immediate family member intends to live at the premises, four weeks notice must be given.
  • The same time period applies when someone unrelated but with a close personal relationship to the landlord wishes to move in.
  • Should the landlord wish to sell the property, they must provide the tenant with eight weeks of warning.
  • In the case of a genuine intention to perform reconstruction or renovation during which the premises cannot be occupied, 12 weeks notice is essential. 
  • Where the lease has been broken, a landlord needs to instruct the tenant to remedy the breach within two weeks. If action has not been taken after that time, two weeks warning of termination is acceptable.

The end of a tenancy may of course be the tenant's choice as well. In that case, further laws apply. 

If you need assistance in managing your Belconnen rentals, get in touch with the team at Ray White Belconnen for top-tier property management services.

Up to Date

Latest News