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VIC Want to Evict Tenant Not on Lease - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Kodelis, 15 May 2016.

  1. Kodelis

    Kodelis Member

    15 May 2016
    Likes Received:
    I have lived in a property for over 3 years. There are 3 bedrooms, 3 of us living here, and I am the only person on the lease with the landlord (I rent directly).

    A flatmate moved in about 18 months ago and he has always been hostile about not being on the lease but this has come to a head lately. I was very clear about this when he moved in and stated explicitly that I would always be the only person on the lease. This was the landlord's preference and I was fine with it - in the years here and various mixes of people it has never been an issue.

    He has a bedroom in the house (no lock on the door) and shares the kitchen, bathroom and other common areas.

    He is an alcoholic, never cleans apart from the patio, his room is in such a state it smells from the hallway, and has put the house at risk in the past by lighting drum fires on the patio using the inside of a washing machine (yes... I put that one out with the hose).

    We actually have a proper outdoor fire and tonight he left the doors wide open - burning log fell onto the ground, with sparks flying, while he passed out for a few hours (I fixed it).

    I am genuinely afraid of him being here - he is a liability and being the only one on the lease, I believe I would be responsible for damage to the property.

    I have asked him to leave per the "sublease" document he signed when he moved in which stipulated 4 weeks notice. He is irate about this, has threatened to defame me by contacting the landlord with whom he has no direct relationship. He apparently has her details from land title records.

    Is he considered a subtenant or a licensee and how much notice do I legally need to give him? I do not want to involve the police or go to court as I am going overseas in June to volunteer.

    Please help :)
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hi Kodelis,

    As head tenant and the only one on the lease, you are the only tenant with a direct contractual relationship with the Landlord. Therefore, you would be responsible to the landlord for any damage that is done to the property. You could then claim back any damages from the subtenants who caused that damage. As head tenant you are essentially in a relationship and landlord and tenant toward the subtenants living with you. Ordinarily where there is no breach of lease, a head tenant must give sub tenants a 90-day termination notice during a periodic agreement or a 30-day termination notice any time before the end of a fixed term agreement.

    However if there is some provision in the sublease that he signed that would allow you to evict him earlier then you can use that. He can appeal to NCAT or whatever your state tenancy tribunal is, to dispute it, but if you do everything properly then you should be fine.

    For information about your rights contact NSW Fair Trading - 133 220.
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