What should I do if I am in rent arrears? - The lanlord or agents actions
A Notice to Remedy is only the first step. Under Clause 92 of the Standard Terms the Notice to Remedy must be served on or after the 8th day after the rent was due, stating that the outstanding amount is to be paid within 7 days. If you do this, no further action will be taken.
If the rent is still unpaid after 7 days, the landlord/agent can issue a Notice to Vacate the property within 14 days.
If you have received two Notices to Remedy previously in your tenancy, and you get 7 days behind in the rent again, on the third occasion the landlord/agent can give you a Notice to Vacate without first issuing another Notice to Remedy.
A Notice to Vacate does not end your tenancy. Try to negotiate a written agreement with the landlord/ agent for catching up on the rent. If you cannot pay the arrears, you may decide it is best to move out. You would then be liable for rent up to the last day of the notice period or, beyond that, till the day you do move out.
If you do not move out and the landlord/agent wants to pursue your eviction, the following procedures apply:
ACT CIVIL & ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL
The landlord/agent must apply to the ACAT for a Termination and Possession Order before you can be evicted. The application can be made before the 14
days Notice to Vacate has even expired, as long as the Tribunal hearing is after the 14 days. Most landlords wait the 14 days to see if the tenant will leave voluntarily.
After the landlord has applied to the Tribunal, you will be sent a ‘Notice to the Respondent’, together with a copy of the landlord’s application. Once you receive this notice, act immediately: seek advice from the Tenants’ Advice Service, Welfare Rights & Legal Centre or an independent solicitor.
It is advisable (though not essential) to notify the Tribunal in writing if you intend to defend the eviction. Include all facts you want to rely on in your defence.
You will also receive a ‘Hearing Notice’, stating the date, time and place of hearing. If your rent arrears problem reaches this stage, see Tenancy Factsheet:
Defending an Eviction.
Information supplied courtesy of the Tenants Union of ACT
Further information and advice for ACT tenants can be sourced from