Everyone wants to feel safe and secure in the property they call their home. So what happens if your landlord starts talking about or threatening eviction? The idea of eviction tends conjures up unpleasant images of being kicked out on the streets. However, remember that a landlord needs to comply with legal requirements and timeframes.
Unless a tenant has done something to get the police involved or destroy the property, they are unlikely to find themselves homeless if they act sensibly and quickly.
What happens if you’re facing eviction?
If a tenant is 14 days or more behind in rent or have breached their lease, the landlord or agent may begin proceedings to evict the tenant. In most states, if your landlord wants you out, they must give you a formal Notice to Vacate. This is the first stage of the process, and it’s different to an eviction notice. It will generally give the tenant 14 days to move out.
A Notice to Vacate can be effective immediately if the home has been destroyed, but the landlord will need to give good reason to do so. Remember that it is illegal for your landlord to enter the property without notice and they are forbidden at this stage from locking you out. At this point, try speaking with your landlord to come up with a solution, such as a payment plan to catch up with your rent in arrears.
If you believe you have not broken your lease terms or want to argue your case for staying at the property, you are within your rights to challenge the Notice via the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
You have a legal right to stay at the property until the notice expires. If the situation has not been resolved and you are still in the property after the notice expires, your landlord can apply to the tribunal and issue you with a Possession Order. Things can get a lot more serious at this point, and you could find yourself being asked to leave in person by a police officer. At this stage, it may be your best move to seek legal advice.
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