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A new guide offers insight into how landlords can terminate a tenancy agreement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NSW Fair Trading has published a guide detailing the steps landlords can take in terminating an agreement.
According to NSW Fair Trading, the first step is to identify the reason why you want to terminate your tenancy agreement.
Different processes apply depending on the reason why you want to terminate a tenancy agreement. These reasons may include:
1. For non-payment of rent or charges due to the tenant being impacted by COVID-19
“If a tenant can no longer pay their full rent due to the impact of COVID-19, the landlord and tenant should discuss whether they can agree to a reduced rent or repayment arrangement. Landlords may be able to negotiate reduced repayments or a repayment freeze with their mortgage provider,” NSW Fair Trading explained.
“During the 60-day stop on evictions, a landlord is not able to issue a termination notice or apply to NCAT for a termination order on the basis of rent arrears if a tenant meets the criteria for being impacted by COVID-19. The 60-day stop expires after 13 June 2020.
“After 13 June 2020, a landlord can issue a termination order or apply to the tribunal for an eviction order only if:
• the landlord has first participated in good faith in a rent negotiation process run by Fair Trading; and
• it’s fair and reasonable in the circumstances for a tenancy to be terminated.”
A “Termination of tenancy during COVID: Rent arrears or charges” checklist is available on the NSW Fair Trading website to assist landlords in this regard.
2. For the following reasons for termination
• End of fixed-term agreement
• End of periodic agreement
• Breach of agreement in ways other than non-payment of rent or charges
• Tenant has not complied with a rectification order
For the reasons listed above, NSW Fair Trading advises landlords:
“Follow the usual termination process, except the minimum termination notice period you must give your tenant is 90 days.”
3. For the following reasons for termination
• Non-payment of rent or charges not due to tenant being impacted by COVID-19
• Landlord is suffering hardship
• Tenant has caused serious damage to the property or injury to the landlord or their agent or neighbour
• Tenant is using premises for illegal purposes
• Tenant has threatened, abused, intimidated or harassed the landlord/landlord’s agent/other person
• Landlord is looking to sell the premises
In these circumstances, NSW Fair Trading advises landlords to “follow [the] usual termination process”.