When things go awry
You have a tenant in your property under a legally binding rental agreement but then something goes wrong. Maybe they’ve lost their job or had an accident.
Whatever the situation, the lease needs to be broken - and fast.
So who has the overriding legal rights in this situation? The property manager or the tenant?
There are provisions in most Australian states and territories under the Residential Tenancies Act to terminate a tenancy agreement based on excessive hardship.
But having both parties agree is not always as clear cut. If the two sides disagree, then it’s time for a court magistrate or tribunal referee to decide.
Careful consideration is given on a case by case basis but some of the most likely excessive hardship grounds could include:
- The tenant is made redundant and can’t afford to pay the rent
- The tenant is injured and can’t access their rental home due to stairs
- The tenant has a mental illness and they are hospitalised
- The landlord is forced to pay penalties for late mortgage repayments due to the tenant’s inability to pay rent on time
Alternatively, a landlord could experience their own personal crisis and may need to live in their own property meaning the tenant is required to move. Perhaps the landlord’s lost his or her job and they now have to, unfortunately for the tenant, move into their own property fast.
Whatever the situation, all cases are considered and a lease agreement can be terminated early if the case is heard with enough compelling evidence submitted to support the claim.
TIP: Speak to your Property Manager early if you need possession of your investment property. Each state/territory has different legislation and they will be able to advise you on the steps forward.