Rental properties can be a great income stream but there is no doubt that there can also be challenges that come with them. One of the most significant issues can be that of bad tenants, whether they are failing to pay rent on time, damaging the property, or causing disputes with neighbours. So what can good landlords do to manage bad tenants in New South Wales?
The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) is the legislation that governs this issue in New South Wales. There are several aspects of the legislation relevant to landlords trying to remove difficult tenants.
Tenants must be notified in writing that their tenancy is being terminated, when the tenancy will end, and what the grounds are for the termination
The amount of notice that a tenant must be given is also contained within the Residential Tenancies Act. Generally, a tenant must be given a minimum of 14 days notice if they are more than 14 days behind on rent or if they have committed another breach of their tenancy agreement. They must have a minimum 30 day notice period if the fixed term agreement is coming to an end, and a 90 day notice period if the fixed term period has expired and no new agreement has been signed. The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) are also able to issue immediate possession orders without giving the tenant notice when specific criteria apply.
The Residential Tenancies Act also spells out the process for removing tenants who fail to vacate the property on the specified date. To remove a tenant in this situation you must contact the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a Possession Order. It is important to resist the temptation to change the locks or physically remove the tenant from the property yourself. Failing to follow the correct process at this point can cost you significantly in monetary terms and in delays in getting possession of your property back.
General information on managing difficult tenants is available from Fair Trading NSW. For personalised legal advice, contact a property lawyer today.
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