A landlord seeking to terminate a tenancy must follow a strict process set out in the RTA. There is no lawful short-cut available, even where the tenant is in breach of the tenancy agreement or behind in the rent. In general, the process is:
- The landlord or agent must serve a valid, written notice to vacate on the tenant, providing the tenant with the correct period of notice applicable to the type of tenancy and grounds for termination: cl 83 (see over the page for grounds);
- The landlord/agent must have, and must state in the notice, one or more of the lawful grounds for termination set out in the RTA, as well as sufficient details identifying the circumstance giving rise to the grounds: cl 83(b);
- The notice to vacate should also specify that the landlord requires the tenant to vacate on expiry of the notice period, and that the tenancy will end on the day the tenant vacates;
- Note that if the landlord’s/agent’s reason for the termination is that the tenant has breached the tenancy agreement, the landlord usually must first issue a notice to remedy before issuing the notice to vacate – see page 3 “Termination for breach by the tenant”.
2. Order from ACAT
- If the tenant does not voluntarily move out of the premises after receiving valid notice, the landlord must apply to ACAT for a termination and possession order (TPO); and
- The tenant has the right to (and should) be present at the ACAT hearing to defend an eviction.
3. Warrant for eviction
- If ACAT has made a TPO, it can also issue a warrant for eviction. This warrant gives the police the power to evict the tenant within a specified time if the tenant has not vacated of their own accord as directed by the TPO.
- The police must give the tenant at least 2 daysnotice of the eviction, unless there are exceptional circumstances involved.