South Australia Termination by Tenant

The tenant can only terminate the tenancy agreement under certain circumstances, which are listed below. Tenants should ensure they use the correct notice and abide by the minimum notice periods.

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?

Termination for breach by landlord

If the landlord has breached the agreement, the tenant has two options if they want to terminate the tenancy. Generally, tenants should use the first option unless the breach is very serious or cannot be fixed. The tenant can terminate for a breach by the landlord at any time during the tenancy.

Option 1: give landlord a termination notice
The tenant can give the landlord a Form 4 termination notice if the landlord has breached the agreement in any way. The tenant must list in the notice what the breach is and when it must be fixed by. The tenant must allow at least 7 days for the landlord to fix the breach.

If the landlord does not fix the breach within the period allowed by the tenant, the agreement will be terminated. The tenant must allow an additional period of at least 7 days before the agreement is terminated.

After giving a termination notice, the tenant should not move out immediately. They should wait for the landlord to accept the termination, or until the Tribunal makes an order. If the tenant moves out but the landlord fixes the breach or the Tribunal does not allow termination, then the tenant will have abandoned the premises. Under this circumstance, the tenant may have to compensate the landlord.

If the landlord fixes the breach in the allowed period, or the landlord believes there was never a breach, they can apply to the Tribunal for an order preventing termination.

Option 2: apply directly to the tribunal
The tenant can apply directly to the Tribunal to terminate the tenancy if the landlord has committed a serious breach of the agreement. Generally, the Tribunal will only allow termination if the breach is very serious and cannot be fixed.

Termination because premises will be sold

The tenant can give the landlord a Form 4A termination notice if:

  1. the landlord enters a contract to sell the property within 2 months of the beginning of the tenancy agreement, and
  2. the landlord did not tell the tenant about the sale before they entered the tenancy agreement.

Termination without a specific reason—21 days notice

The tenant can terminate without a specific reason by giving the landlord a Form 5 termination notice. They must give the landlord at least 21 days notice. The tenant can only use Form 5 if:

  • the agreement is a periodic tenancy, or
  • the agreement is for a fixed term and the fixed term has ended

Termination at end of fixed term—28 days notice

The tenant can terminate an agreement at the end of a fixed term by giving the landlord a Form 4B termination notice. The tenant does not need to give a specific reason for termination. The notice must be given at least 28 days before the termination date.

Premises destroyed or uninhabitable—immediate notice

The tenant can give the landlord a Form 4C termination notice if the premises has been destroyed or made uninhabitable. The notice has immediate effect.

Premises not lawful useable—immediate notice

The tenant can give the landlord a Form 4C termination notice if the premises can no longer be lawfully used as a residence. For example, if there is a legal change in classification of the property. The termination has immediate effect.

Premises compulsorily acquired—immediate notice

The tenant can give the landlord a Form 4C termination notice if the premises is compulsorily acquired by a government authority. The notice has immediate effect.

Termination for hardship to tenant

The tenant can apply directly to the Tribunal for termination if they would suffer undue hardship if the tenancy continued. ’Undue hardship’ means that the tenant will suffer some kind of injustice if the tenancy continues. If the Tribunal makes a termination order, the tenant may also be ordered to pay compensation to the tenant for any losses suffered as a result.

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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.