Tenancy challenges - Mortgagee repossession & Illegal drug activity in homes - Tenants bulletin issue 9

This publication is for: 

1 August 2019

In this issue:

​Tenancy challenges

  • Mortgagee repossession  
  • Information and resources regarding illegal drug activity in homes

Tenancy challenges: Mortgagee repossession 

Sometimes tenancy arrangements run into unexpected issues that are outside your control. Today we’ll explore what happens when a mortgagee repossesses a rental property.

Definition of mortgagee The lender in a mortgage, typically a bank, building society, credit union, or non-bank lending institution

If the owner of a property you’re renting has failed to keep up with the mortgage payments, the mortgagee may apply to the Supreme Court to take possession of the property. 

What does this mean for you? 

You may receive notice of the mortgagee’s application to repossess the property via Form 17. The process from application to court-ordered possession can be lengthy, so until concluded your tenancy agreement continues as usual: you still pay rent and are not required to move out. 

Once the mortgagee is given possession of the property, they may then choose to terminate your residential tenancy agreement. 

If they do, there are several important things you should know:

  • The mortgagee must give you at least 30 days’ notice to vacate using Form 14.
  • You do not pay rent during the 30 day notice period.
  • You are entitled to be repaid any rent that was paid in advance for that 30 day period.
  • You may be able to negotiate a new tenancy agreement with the mortgagee, or apply to the Court to extend your tenancy agreement.
  • The mortgagee can enter the premises during the 30 day period to show it to prospective buyers provided they give you reasonable notice and you agree to the date/time.

This can be an upsetting and uncertain time for tenants, so we’ve created a new Mortgagee ending a tenancy page to explain in more detail what will happen and what your options are. 

If after taking possession the mortgagee does not take action to end the tenancy agreement, your tenancy will continue. However, you might need to enter into a new tenancy agreement with the mortgagee to reflect the change in ownership.

We’re here to help!

If you've received either of these notifications you can always call Consumer Protection on 1300 304 054 for more information.

Tenancy challenges: Illegal drug activity in homes

Illegal drug activity in residential properties is cause for concern for tenants, owners, property managers and real estate agents alike due to potential health and safety risks to occupants. Illegal drug activity in homes, particularly clandestine laboratories (clan labs), cannabis grow houses, and smoke houses, can contribute to damage or contamination from drug or chemical residues. 

Landlords have a responsibility to ensure their property is safe and clean for future tenants. Contact your landlord or property manager if you’re concerned that a property has been contaminated by illegal drug activity. If you are unhappy with the response from your landlord or property manager, contact your local government authority (LGA) or the Department of Health.

The Department of Health guide, Illegal Drug Activity in Homes: Managing Risk  A Guide for Occupants, Landlords, Property Managers and Agents, is a great resource to help you recognise illegal drug contamination in a rental property and guide you through what to do. 





Consumer Protection
Last updated 02 Aug 2019

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