Defending an Application for Termination by the Landlord
If the reason for the landlord’s application is rent arrears:
- Rent receipts and a rent records showing history of payments;
- Calculation of rent owing and number of days rent is unpaid, if you dispute the landlord’s figures or the landlord has given no figures;
- Evidence of financial problems that have caused you to fall behind on the rent;
- Evidence that financial problems have been or are being overcome;
- Evidence that income was disrupted (e.g. Centrelink benefit suspended) and the problem is now sorted.
If the reason for the landlord’s application is a breach other than rent arrears:
- Evidence that there was no breach – for example, a dated photograph showing a mown lawn; or a letter from a neighbour stating they had never found you noisy; or a statement from the owner of the dog saying that the dog had only ever been visiting the premises and was not living there;
- Or evidence that the breach has been remedied – for example, a photograph showing the lawn mown as of the current date; or a letter from a neighbou saying you had not been noisy for the past 2 weeks; or a letter stating that the dog that was staying with you is now staying elsewhere;
- Or evidence that the breach will be remedied – for example, a letter from a lawn mowing firm confirming your booking of their services for a future date; or a letter from a motor mechanic confirming that the old muffler on your car was very noisy and a new muffler is on order and will be installed on a future date; or a letter from a person confirming that they will take over the care of the dog as of a future date;
- And/or evidence that the breach was very minor and does not justify eviction – for example, a dated photograph showing a lawn only 5cms high; or a letter from a neighbour stating that your music was audible but she did not mind it; or a statement signed by a number of neighbours stating that the dog is well under control and causes little or no nuisance.
If the reason for the landlord’s application is hardship:
- Evidence of your own hardship if the tenancy was ended early – for example, proof of your income and lack of savings, copies of the “To Let” section of the paper showing few properties available and/or higher rents, quotations for the cost of moving, medical evidence of any disability or condition that would make moving difficult, a letter from your child’s school regarding learning difficulties and the need for stability;
- Evidence, if any available, of the landlord’s lesser hardship relative to yours;
- Evidence the landlord is not suffering hardship.
If the reason the landlord’s application is one of the grounds under clause 96 (landlord or landlord’s immediate relative wanting to move in, landlord wanting to sell,landlord wanting to reconstruct or renovate):
- Evidence that the grounds are not genuine – for example, a current advertisement for the property in the “To Let” section of the paper.
Evidence that this is a retaliatory eviction – for example, a copy of a letter you wrote to the Office of Rental Bonds complaining about the landlord’s failure to lodge the bond, a letter stating that you contacted TAS for advice.
See also Tribunal (ACAT) General Information and Searching Decisions and Requesting Reasons on www.tenantsact.org.au.
Information supplied courtesy of the Tenants Union of ACT
Further information and advice for ACT tenants can be sourced from