Lessor ending a tenancy
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There are various reasons for ending a tenancy. These can range from something as simple as wanting to move on, to the tenant/s or the lessor/property manager not keeping to the terms of the agreement. The proper way to end the agreement will depend on why the tenancy is ending and whether it’s a fixed-term or a periodic tenancy.
Lessor wants to end the tenancy
Lessors can give notice to end a periodic or fixed-term agreement, or take the matter to court if:
- The tenant/s are behind in rent payments – the tenant/s have 7 or 14 days from receipt of written notice of breach of agreement, depending on which notice has been issued, to make the payments in full, otherwise the agreement can be terminated.
- The tenant/s fail to keep their part of the tenancy agreement, other than rent arrears – the tenant/s must be advised, in writing, about the problem and have 14 days to deal with any issues. If the problem isn’t resolved the lessor can terminate the agreement.
- The premises are destroyed, are compulsorily acquired by law, or become uninhabitable – the lessor must give the tenant not less than seven days’ notice before the termination day.
- The expiry date of the fixed term is approaching and the lessor does not wish to renew the agreement – prior to the expiry date, the lessor must provide the tenant with a minimum of 30 days' written notice of the intention to not renew the agreement (use Form 1C, option 5). In a fixed-term tenancy (specific start and finish dates) the agreement will not automatically terminate on the end date unless either the tenant or the lessor gives 30 days’ notice of intention not to renew the agreement. If less than 30 days' notice is given before the fixed term expires, the day the tenant needs to move out is extended so 30 days' notice is given.
In the case of periodic tenancies, written notice using Form 1C must also be given by the lessor if:
- The property is to be sold and the contract involves handing over vacant premises. A minimum of 30 full days’ notice is required.
- The tenancy is to be ended without giving any reason. A minimum of 60 full days’ notice is required. In some circumstances the tenant/s may apply to the court for a 60 day extension of the period of notice.
Lessors can also apply to end a tenancy through the Magistrates Court if the tenant is likely to, or has, intentionally or recklessly injured the lessor, their agent, a neighbour, or has caused serious damage to the premises, including, where relevant, common areas and chattels within common areas.
Apart from these circumstances, a fixed-term tenancy can also be ended:
- by mutual written agreement, signed by the tenant/s and the lessor, or
- if a magistrate agrees the tenant or the owner will suffer undue hardship if the agreement is not ended.
Refer to the notices section for how and when to issue notices.
Please refer to the publication Renting out your property for further information on how to terminate a tenancy.
You can also read more about how and when a tenant can end an agreement.
Housing Authority (WA)
If the tenant/s are in social housing (such as Housing Authority or a prescribed social housing provider), quite apart from the situations already discussed, they may also be asked to leave if an assessment finds the tenant/s no longer meet the eligibility criteria for social housing, or they are being relocated to another social housing property.
Notice periods and appeal processes apply. Housing Authority can also apply to the Magistrates Court to end a tenancy because of objectionable behaviour.
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