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NSW Unfair Termination of Lease - Ask for Compensation?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by ElGus, 11 September 2016.

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  1. ElGus

    ElGus Member

    11 September 2016
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    Hi there,

    I would like help on the below.

    About the tenancy - we are on a fixed agreement that hasn't ended and we received a 30 days notice from the real estate that we consider unfair.

    The situation and it's the following:

    We have been (myself, my wife and son) tenants in this property for the last 3 years. Every year, 2 months (60 days) before our fix term agreement expires, the real estate sent us rent increment of 10 dollars per week followed of what they call a renew of lease, when really it is a new fixed agreement.

    A new fixed agreement makes us liable for leaving, within the fort 6 month, for 6 weeks of rent, and after the 6 months for 4. Also, allows the landlord to give us a 30 notice, instead of 90 days of a periodic agreement a lower property insurgence fee.

    And last but not least, the real estate makes money with the administration fee for preparing, sending and processing the new contact so they encourage it. Obviously, as tenant, it's a lose-lose for us as we get no benefit out a signing a new fix term lease every year.

    This year, the 60 days rent increase notice, which is within the legal time frame, was of 20 dollars per week instead of 10, so we decided to request to stay on a periodic agreement, as as this new rate, next year or the following will be to expensive and we should leave.

    I called the real estate agent, left a message, did mention that was in regards this comping year lease, but that was all. In the same week, as I did not get a call back. I called again, left another message. No call back, so after a week, called again and left another message.

    This time, I got a call back the same day, but 2 weeks have passed since the initial call to discuss. I asked the agent to contact the landlord and ask them about staying on a periodic agreement, which I put in an email to them.

    A week after, so 3 weeks after my original call trying to talk to the agent about the lease. So when the agent got back with the answer, the answer was no, the landlord wants tenants on a fixed term agreement, as obviously is much better for them. After that, we started to think that it might be worth to have a look at the rental market.

    We contacted back the real estate agent, asked what was the legal due date for us to hand in the signed contact. We didn't mention that we where looking around, we just asked when would be the latest legal date for us to hand it, as we didn't think there would be much of an issue with that. The agent replied, “the landlord does not want you to wait to the end of the agreement”.

    That was 3 weeks before the expiration of the lease date. We just ignored the agent to be honest, she called us, texted pretty much every days after that to push us to sign, which might even qualify as harassment.

    I called Office of Fair Trading and they advised that we do not have a legal requirement of sign on a set day until the last day of the current agreement.

    Within this time, we had a look around and came to the conclusion that moving was not wise as we are too busy, accumulated a lot a stuff that need to be organised, sold, given away and, that getting a place close to our son's child care was also too complicated.

    So 2 weeks before the lease expires, we signed and mailed the contract by normal post as there were still 2 weeks left in the current lease so it was enough. That very same day that we popped the signed contact in the mail. The agent texted us saying, that the landlord had instructed her that, if the lease was not signed and handled in by tomorrow they would give us notice.

    We advised the agent that the contract was in the mail and it will take 2 business days to arrive, and that It was left in the mail at 4PM on a Wednesday (the agent's text was at 5PM that same Wednesday).

    So the agent went, ok, if it is not here tomorrow, I'll have to give notice, to what we replied that it was in the mail and it will take 2 days.

    On Friday, the agent gave us notice to vacate the property in 30 days. Most likely the contract is going to arrive on Monday, still 6 days before our current lease expires. Basically, we haven't done anything out of the legal and we did not express any intentions to leave at all.

    My first question is, and sorry for the long story, did the agent act within the law? Shouldn't have the agent have mediated and avoided handle notice even if the landlord gave the order

    Was there any harassment?

    Does a text message stating that if the “contact is not signed and handle by tomorrow I will give you notice” qualify as a threat? Do we have grounds of retaliation for a tribunal due to not comply with their demands? Do we have a legal case as due to the above and obviously?

    Also, it moving 30 will incur in a huge expense that we were not considering and will conflict with our current expense situation, can we ask for compensation?

  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
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    Your story is so long and convoluted it's difficult to determine. It depends on the precise terms of your lease and whether you provided the notice within the terms of the lease, not simply within the remaining time period of the lease.

    The terms as you have explained them are not clear however, it would appear the landlord still had the right to terminate with 30 days notice. The second part of your question is unclear.

    No. The agent and landlord obviously just wanted to know whether or not they needed to find another tenant as soon as possible so that they could start looking and were trying to get a response from you.


    Its difficult to determine based on the information provided.

    if the landlord has breached the agreement, you may be entitled to compensation.

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