How to Evict a Tenant in NSW

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While evictions can be stressful and time-consuming, following the proper steps and knowing your rights as a landlord can help make the process smoother. 

In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on evicting a tenant in NSW, including the grounds for eviction, notice requirements, and the step-by-step process.

Grounds for Eviction Under Residential Tenancy Agreement in NSW

There are several reasons why you might need to evict a tenant in NSW:

  1. Non-payment of rent: If your tenant is 14 days or more behind on their rent, you can issue a termination notice. This situation, known as rent arrears, refers to when rent is overdue by 14 days or more. According to the NSW Fair Trading, in 2019-2020, 16,128 applications for termination were lodged with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) due to rental arrears.
  2. Breach of tenancy agreement: If your tenant breaches the lease terms, such as causing damage to the property or conducting illegal activities, you may have grounds for eviction. Make sure you document any breaches and communicate with your tenant in writing.
  3. End of fixed-term tenancy: When a fixed-term lease comes to an end, you can regain possession of the property by giving the appropriate notice. At the end of a fixed-term agreement, specific notice must be given to end the tenancy, ensuring that both parties are aware of the termination conditions. Keep in mind that if you don’t provide notice and the tenant stays on, the lease automatically becomes a periodic tenancy, which has different notice requirements for termination.

Termination Notice Requirements for Eviction

If you plan to break the lease early, the notice period you must give your tenant depends on the reason for the eviction and the type of tenancy agreement. 

Here’s a quick breakdown, starting with the notice to vacate, which is the formal document used to initiate the eviction process:

Reason for EvictionNotice Period
Non-payment of rent14 days
Breach of agreement14 days (can be as short as 7 days for serious breaches)
End of fixed-term tenancy (tenant has lived in the property for up to 6 months)14 days
End of fixed-term tenancy (tenant has lived in the property for more than 6 months)28 days
Periodic agreementsTypically 90 days, but can be 30-60 days in certain circumstances

When issuing a termination notice, make sure to include:

  • The address of the rental property
  • The date the tenancy agreement will be terminated
  • The reason for termination (if applicable).

The Eviction Process for Rented Premises

Now that you know the grounds for eviction and the notice requirements, let’s walk through the step-by-step process of evicting a tenant in NSW.

  1. Serve the tenant with a valid written termination notice that includes all the necessary information, ensuring it complies with the terms set out in the lease agreement or residential tenancy agreement. The notice must clearly identify the rented premises and adhere to both the rental and lease agreement stipulations.
  2. If the tenant doesn’t vacate the property by the specified termination date, the rental provider can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for a possession order. If NCAT grants the possession order, the tenant will be given a date by which they must vacate the property. 
  3. If the tenant still refuses to leave after the NCAT order, you can obtain a warrant for possession from NCAT. Only the police are authorised to carry out evictions, ensuring the process adheres to legal requirements.

Important Considerations for Evicting Tenants in NSW 

Throughout the eviction process, keep these important points in mind:

  • Tenants can challenge an eviction notice and present their case at the tribunal hearing. Be prepared to provide evidence supporting your reason for the eviction.
  • Keep detailed records of all communication and interactions with the tenant and any evidence of breaches or unpaid rent. This documentation will be essential if the case goes to the tribunal.
  • Consider seeking professional advice from a property manager or lawyer specialising in tenancy law to ensure you follow the correct procedures and protect your interests.

Key Takeaways

  • Evicting a tenant in NSW can be a stressful and time-consuming process.
  • Knowing your rights as a landlord and following proper steps can help make the process smoother.
  • Several grounds for eviction exist, including non-payment of rent, breach of tenancy agreement, and end of fixed-term tenancy.
  • Notice requirements vary depending on the reason for eviction and the type of tenancy agreement.
  • Issuing a valid written termination notice is the first step in eviction.
  • Tenants can challenge an eviction notice and present their case at the tribunal hearing.
  • Keeping detailed records of communication and interactions with the tenant is essential.
  • Seeking professional advice from a property manager or lawyer specialising in tenancy law is recommended.

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