Queensland Termination by Landlord

The Landlord can terminate the tenancy agreement under certain circumstances, including serious breaches by the tenant, or the expiry of the fixed term.

This guide covers landlords (or head-tenants) and tenants (or sub-tenants) in a Residential Tenancy. This applies to the majority of share accommodation and residential property rental situations. To confirm it covers your situation visit What is my share accommodation situation?

When can the landlord terminate the tenancy?

Under a fixed term tenancy, the landlord can only terminate the agreement before the end of the fixed term under the circumstances listed below. If the landlord does not have a specific reason for termination as listed below, then they can only terminate a fixed term agreement after the end of the fixed term (see below for more information). If the agreement is for a periodic tenancy, then the landlord is free to terminate at any time so long as they do so according to the legal requirements (see below for more information).

Termination for no specific reason

The landlord can lawfully terminate the agreement without a specific as follows. The landlord should use Form 12: Notice to Leave:

  1. Terminating a Fixed Term Tenancy: 2 months notice - if the landlord does not have a specific reasons for termination, they can terminate a fixed term tenancy at any time after the end of the fixed term. The landlord must give at least 2 months notice. The notice be given before the end of the fixed term. Without a specific reason, it is unlawful for the landlord top terminate before the end of a fixed term. If the landlord does this, they may be liable to compensate the tenant.
  2. Terminating a Periodic Tenancy: 2 months notice - if the landlord does not have a specific reason for termination, they can terminate a periodic tenancy at any time. The landlord must give at least 2 months notice of termination.

Termination for a specific reason

Depending on the reason for termination, the landlord should follow one of two different procedures:

For the reasons listed below, you must start by giving the tenant a Form 12: Notice to Leave. If the tenant does not comply with the notice by failing to leave on the requested date, then the landlord can apply to the Tribunal for an order forcing the tenant to leave. The landlord must apply to the Tribunal within 2 weeks of the tenant failing to move out on time. The situations where this procedure applies are:

  1. Failure to Fix Breach: 14 days notice - the landlord can give the tenant a Notice to Leave if the tenant has not complied with a ‘Notice to Remedy Breach’ within the time period allowed by in that notice. The landlord must give the tenant at least 14 days notice of termination. If the tenant refuses to leave by the termination date, then the landlord can apply to the Tribunal for an order forcing the tenant to leave. The Tribunal will only make an order if the breach justifies termination. The Tribunal is more likely to make an order if the breach is very serious, the tenant has not taken any substantial steps to fix it, the breach is recurring, or the landlord has suffered some kind of significant loss.
  2. Failure to Pay Overdue Rent: 7 days notice - the landlord can give the tenant a Notice to Leave if the tenant has not complied with a Notice to Remedy Breach for overdue rent. Rent must be 7 or more days overdue before the landlord can give a Notice to Remedy Breach. If the overdue rent is then not paid within the time allowed, the landlord can give a Notice to Leave. The landlord must give the tenant at least 7 days notice of termination.
  3. Noncompliance with Tribunal Order: 7 days notice - the landlord can give the tenant a Notice to Leave if the tenant has not complied with an order made by the Tribunal within the allowed period. The landlord must give the tenant at least 7 days notice of termination.
  4. Premises Destroyed or Unfit to Live in: immediate notice - if the rented premises has been destroyed or made unfit to live in, the landlord can give the tenant a Notice to Leave. The destruction or damage to the premises must not be caused by the tenant or landlord. The Notice to Leave can have immediate effect meaning the tenancy is terminated straight away, however the tenant must be allowed a reasonable period to move out.
  5. Premises Acquired/Cannot be used as Residence: 2 months notice - the landlord can give the tenant a Notice to Leave if the premises can no longer be lawfully used as a residence or the premises has been compulsorily acquired by a government authority. The landlord must give the tenant at least 2 months notice of termination.
  6. Premises to be sold: 4 weeks notice - the landlord can give the tenant a Notice to Leave if the landlord has entered a contract to sell the premises, and the contract requires that the premises be handed over with vacant possession. The termination date must be after the end of a fixed term, or at any time during a periodic agreement. The landlord must give the tenant at least 4 weeks notice of termination.
  7. Serious Breach by Tenant: 7 days notice - the landlord can give a Notice to Leave if the tenant (or an occupant or guest of the tenant) has committed a serious breach of the tenancy agreement. The landlord must give the tenant at least 7 days notice of termination. Serious breaches are:
    1. Illegal Activity - if the premises is used for an illegal purpose such as manufacturing or storing illicit drugs.
    2. Damage to Premises - the premises is destroyed or seriously damaged as a result of intentional or reckless behaviour.
    3. Endangered People - tenant (or occupant/guest) endangers another person at the premises or a neighbouring premises.
    4. Interference with another Tenant - tenant (or occupant/guest) interferes with another tenant’s reasonable peace, comfort, or privacy in using the premises.

Under the following circumstances, the landlord must apply directly to the Tribunal for a Termination order. The Landlord can also give the tenant a Form 12: Notice to Leave, however the Tribunal will notify the tenant of the landlord’s application. The situations where this procedure applies are:

  1. Tenant Failed to Leave after Notice of Intent to Leave - the landlord can apply for a termination order if the tenant has given a Notice of Intention to Leave but has not moved out by the ‘handover day.’ The landlord must apply within 2 weeks of the handover day.
  2. Excessive Hardship to Landlord - the landlord can apply for a termination order at any time during the tenancy if the landlord will suffer excessive hardship if the tenancy is not terminated. Excessive hardship means some kind of severe loss or suffering, such as if the landlord has no other reasonably available accommodation and needs to move into the rented premises.
  3. Serious Damage to Premises - the landlord can apply for a termination order if the tenant recklessly or intentionally damages the rented premises in any way, or is likely to do so.
  4. Injury to Landlord/Occupant - the landlord can apply for a termination order if tenant has intentionally or reckless injured the landlord (or landlord’s agent), or another person occupying the premises. The landlord cannot, however, make an application if the injured person is the tenant’s spouse.
  5. Harassment, Intimidation, Verbal Abuse - the landlord can apply for a termination order if the tenant harasses, intimidates or verbally abuses the landlord (or landlord’s agent) or any other person occupying the premises. The Tribunal will only make an order if the tenant’s behaviour justifies termination. The Tribunal is more likely to make an order if the behaviour is frequent or recurring, or if the behaviour is serious.
  6. Nuisance to Neighbour - the landlord can apply for a termination order if the tenant causes serious nuisances to a neighbouring premises. A neighbour does not have to be an immediately adjacent premises, but anywhere in the local vicinity of the rented premises. The Tribunal will only make an order if the tenant’s behaviour justifies termination. The Tribunal is more likely to make an order if the behaviour is frequent or recurring, or if the behaviour is serious.
  7. 3 Breaches of same term - the landlord can apply for a termination order if the following 3 conditions are all met:
    1. the tenant breaches any of the following terms of the tenancy agreement 3 times within a period of 12 months
      • obligation not to use premises for illegal purpose, cause a nuisance, or interfere with the peace, comfort, or privacy of neighbours
      • obligation to keep premises clean
      • obligation to not maliciously damage the premises
      • any obligation about paying rent
    2. after the first 2 breaches the landlord gave the tenant a Notice to Remedy Breach
    3. the tenant fixes the first 2 breaches within the allowed period in the Notices to Remedy Breach

Back to Queensland Ending the Tenancy Agreement


These legal guides provide a brief summary and introduction of the laws and regulations affecting share accommodation. They do not cover all cases in all legal jurisdictions and might not apply in your specific share accommodation situation. It is important that you use this information as a guide only and seek independent Legal Advice or consult the Relevant Acts. We do not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.