Victoria 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?

Landlords wanting to terminate the agreement must notify the tenant in writing using the Notice to Vacate form.

If you are a landlord and you want to end the tenancy, it is important that you do so in the correct way by using the Notice to Vacate form and giving the correct notice period as listed below. If the tenant believes that the termination by the landlord is invalid (i.e. it does not fall into any of the legal categories listed below), then they can challenge the termination at the Tribunal. If they are successful, the Tribunal may order that the agreement continue meaning the landlord’s termination does not apply.

Terminating before the tenant takes possession of the premises

The landlord can terminate the agreement immediately for any of the following reasons if the tenant has not moved in yet:

  • the premises is unfit for human habitation
  • the premises has been destroyed or has become unsafe

When can the Landlord terminate the tenancy during?

Depending on the reason, the landlord may only be able to terminate the tenancy after the end of the fixed term. However in some more serious circumstances, the landlord may be able to terminate before the end of the fixed term.

Termination after the end of a fixed term

The landlord can terminate a fixed term tenancy after the end of the fixed term in the following circumstances: (This section also applies to periodic tenancies)

  1. End of Fixed Term Tenancy: 60-120 days notice - the landlord can terminate a fixed term tenancy on the date that is the end of the fixed term. The minimum notice depends on how long their fixed term is. If the fixed term is 6+ months, then the minimum notice period is at least 90 days. If the fixed term is less than 6 months, then the minimum notice period is at least 60 days. If the landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy after the end of the fixed term and there is no specific reason for termination, then they must give the tenant at least 120 days notice. If the landlord terminates the agreement before the end of the fixed term without any legal justification, they may be liable to compensate the tenant.
  2. Terminating a Periodic Tenancy: 120 days notice - the landlord can terminate a periodic tenancy at any time. If the landlord has no specific reason for termination, then they must give the tenant at least 120 days notice of termination.
  3. Premises to be Sold: 60 days notice - if the premises is going to be sold or has been sold, the landlord can terminate the agreement. If it is a fixed term tenancy, the termination date must be after the end of the fixed term. The landlord must give the tenant at least 60 days notice of termination. The landlord must inform the buyer of the property that the tenants will continue to occupy the premises until the end of the lease or the end of the notice period. The landlord is not allowed to rent out the premises to another tenant for 6 months after giving the current tenant the notice.
  4. Landlord intends to Conduct Repairs/Renovations: 60 days notice - the landlord can terminate the tenancy if they intend to conduct repairs/renovations/reconstruction to the premises immediately after the tenant moves out and they have obtained all the necessary permits or consents from council or other government bodies to conduct the work. It must be necessary for the tenant to move out for the work to be completed properly. If it is a fixed term tenancy, the termination date must be after the end of the fixed term. The landlord must give the tenant at least 60 days notice of termination.
  5. Landlord’s Place of Residence: 14 days notice - the tenant can terminate a fixed term tenancy at the end of the fixed term or later if the tenancy agreement states that the rented premises was the landlord’s residence before the tenancy and that the landlord intends to resume occupancy after the tenancy. The landlord must give the tenant at least 14 days notice of termination.
  6. Landlord’s Family to Use Premises: 60 days notice - the landlord can terminate the tenancy if the landlord, a member of the landlord’s family, or a dependent of the landlord, is going to occupy the premises after the tenancy. If the agreement is a fixed term tenancy, then the termination date must be after the end of the fixed term. The landlord must give the tenant at least 60 days notice of termination.
  7. Demolition of Premises: 60 days notice - the landlord can terminate the tenancy if the rented premises is going to be demolished and the landlord has obtained all of the necessary permits and consents from government bodies. If the agreement is for a fixed term, the termination date must be after the end of the fixed term. The landlord must give the tenant at least 60 days notice of termination. The landlord is not allowed to rent out the premises to another tenant for 6 months after giving the current tenant the notice.
  8. Premises to be Used for Business Purposes: 60 days notice - the landlord can terminate the agreement if the premises are going to be used for a non-residential purpose immediately after the tenancy, such as for a business. If the agreement is for a fixed term, the termination date must be after the end of the fixed term. The landlord must give the tenant at least 60 days notice of termination.

Termination at any time during the tenancy

The landlord can terminate a tenancy at any time, before or after the end of a fixed term, for the following reasons: (This section also applies to periodic tenancies)

  1. 3 Successive Breaches by Tenant: 14 days notice - the landlord can terminate the agreement at any time by giving at least 14 days notice if the following 2 conditions are met:
    1. the tenant has breached any of the following obligations 3 times (the tenant must breach the same obligation 3 times):
      • duty to not cause a nuisance, or cause interference with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of any neighbours
      • duty to take case to avoid damaging the rented premises, and duty to take reasonable care to avoid damaging the common areas
      • duty to keep the rented premises reasonably clean
      • duty to only install fixtures or make alterations only with the landlord’s consent, and to remove any fixtures at the end of the tenancy
      • duty to allow the landlord or landlord’s agent to enter the premises if they are entering legally
    2. on the first two occasions that the tenant breached the obligation, the landlord must have given the tenant a Breach of Duty Notice (see the Rights and Obligations during Tenancy page for more information about breaches).
  2. Tenant does not Comply with Tribunal Order: 14 days notice - if the Tribunal makes an order applying to the tenant but the tenant does not comply with it, then the landlord can terminate the tenancy at any time. The landlord must give the tenant at least 14 days notice of termination. Examples of orders by the Tribunal include: pay the landlord compensation, fix a breach of the tenancy agreement, or refrain from behaviour that breaches the agreement.
  3. Tenant Fails to Pay Rent: 14 days notice - if rent becomes 14 or more day overdue, the landlord can terminate the agreement at any time. The landlord must give the landlord at least 14 days notice of termination.
  4. Tenant Fails to Pay Bond: 14 days notice - if the tenant does not pay the rental bond as required by the tenancy agreement, then the landlord can terminate the agreement at any time. The landlord must give the tenant at least 14 days notice of termination.
  5. Tenant Sub-lets without the Landlord’s consent: 14 days notice - the landlord can terminate the tenancy any time if the tenant sub-lets the whole premises or part of the premises without the landlord’s consent. The landlord must give the tenant at least 14 days notice of termination.
  6. Tenant Maliciously Damages the Premises: immediate notice - the landlord can terminate the tenancy at any time if the tenant, or the tenant’s visitor, maliciously damage the rented premises or any common areas. The landlord’s notice can be immediate, i.e. terminating the tenancy straight away meaning the tenant must move out as soon as possible.
  7. Premises Unsafe, Destroyed, Not fit for Habitation: immediate notice - the landlord can terminate the tenancy at any time if the premises is destroyed, becomes unsafe, or is not fit for human habitation. The landlord’s notice can be immediate, i.e. terminating the tenancy straight away meaning the tenant must move out as soon as possible.
  8. Tenant Endangers Neighbours: immediate notice - the landlord can terminate the tenancy at any time if the tenant, or the tenant’s visitor, endangers the safety of any neighbours of the rented premises. The landlord’s notice can be immediate, i.e. terminating the tenancy straight away meaning the tenant must move out as soon as possible.
  9. Tenant uses Premises for Illegal Purpose: 14 days notice - the landlord can terminate the agreement at any time if the tenant uses the premises for an illegal activity, such as illicit drug manufacturing or distribution. The landlord must give the tenant at least 14 days notice of termination.
  10. Child Resident in Breach of Term: 14 days notice - if the tenancy agreement has a term that prohibits a child (person 16 years old or younger) from living at the premises, and the tenant breaches that term, then the landlord can terminate the agreement at any time. The landlord must give the tenant at least 14 days notice of termination.

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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.