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What Queensland investors need to know about the end of a tenancy

By Rikki Cook

In a perfect world, the best tenants would stay in your property forever.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Research from Roy Morgan shows that Queensland has the most mobile occupiers, with only a third of us having lived in one property for more than 10 years – something that could be attributed to our high rental population.

Tenants may receive job offers in other cities or decide to get their own foot on the property ladder. Whatever reason a tenant has for moving on, as a landlord you need to understand how the process of tenancy termination works, and what you’ll need to do from there.

Who can end a tenancy agreement in Queensland?

Both the landlord and tenant have the power to terminate an agreement. However, certain papers must be completed in order to do so. Even at the end of a fixed-term tenancy, the tenant or landlord must be served the right paperwork or the lease will be assumed to continue as periodic.

A tenancy will end when:

  • Both parties concur to end the agreement in writing,
  • The lessor gives the tenant a ‘Notice to leave’ or ‘Abandonment termination notice’,
  • Or the tenant gives the lessor a ‘Notice of intention to leave’.

Tenancies may also end if the mortgagee reclaims the property, the sole tenant dies or by order of the Tribunal.

Why might a tenancy end?

The reason a tenancy ends may impact the timeline of vacation.

No reason given

It’s not always necessary to explain why a tenancy is ending. When the landlord terminates a tenancy without grounds, they must provide two months notice so tenants have ample time to find a new home. If a tenant ends the agreement, only two weeks must be given.

Non-liveability

A property may become unsuitable for living due to no fault of either party, for example after a natural disaster. In this case, notice must be given within a month of the property becoming non-liveable and should be vacated on the day notice is given.

Breach of agreement

The tenancy agreement is a legally binding document. So, if either party fails to uphold their responsibilities as outlined in the agreement, the tenancy may be terminated. Landlords must give 14 days notice, or seven if the breach regards rent arrears. A tenant is only required to give seven days notice.

There are a number of specific situations that may affect notice requirements. What’s most important is having a plan when notice is given. Working with a property manager will ensure your investment is in the hands of someone who can act quickly to reduce any impact termination may have on your rental income.

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