One day you’re going to want to end that tenancy
Sooner or later, you or your tenant may want to end the tenancy of your property. For whatever reason this is occurring, both parties are required to give written notice to end the tenancy and the amount of notice that is required varies according to the type of tenancy and the situation.
Periodic and fixed term tenancies may be brought to an end if the tenant falls behind with rental payments and does not remedy the situation within the required time frame. You may also seek to end the tenancy if the tenant breaches the agreement in some other way. This may include causing damage to the building or contents, not keeping the property clean, subletting without your permission, or keeping pets when the agreement states otherwise. The tenancy may also be ended if the premises are destroyed, are compulsorily acquired by law, or become uninhabitable. Where non-liveability is deemed to be the situation, ‘same day’ notice applies.
A periodic tenancy is a flexible arrangement and has no pre-determined end date. You can ask the tenant to leave without specifying a reason; however you are required to give a minimum period of notice, which varies depending on which State the property is in. You can also give notice to end the tenancy if the property is sold and the contract involves handing over vacant premises. In this situation you must also give a minimum notice, which also varies depending on the State. While it is easy for you to end the tenancy, it is also easy for the tenant to leave. They do not have to provide a reason, but must give minimum notice.
Fixed Term Tenancies
A fixed term tenancy specifies the length of time the tenant has agreed to stay in the property. There is a set start and end date. Unless both parties agree in writing, or there is an order from the Court, fixed term tenancies cannot be brought to end before the end of the period stated in the agreement. Tenants must give you the appropriate ‘notice of intention to leave’ form within the correct time period. If you want the tenant to leave, you must issue the appropriate ‘notice to leave’ form before the tenancy agreement ends, and also within the correct time period.
Some insurance companies prefer a fixed term agreement and have different terms if it is not, make sure you enquire.
Selling a Rental Property
Firstly, is the tenancy fixed or periodic? If it is a fixed term, the property will be sold with the tenancy in place. If it is aperiodic tenancy, should the property be sold and vacant possession required, notify your property manager and the appropriate notices can be issued. Which begs the question, do you sell the property occupied or vacant? I don’t have a definitive answer here; it really depends on how the property is presented.
When it comes to notifying the tenant, we need to be conscious of their feelings – imagine, someone told you they were selling your home, I should imagine it’s not a nice feeling. I have found the best approach is to advise the tenants that the owner is looking to put the property on the market and would they be interested in purchasing the home. If so, it makes for a seamless transaction, if not, we find the tenant is more likely to work with you and your agent with the open home inspections, rather than against you.
It is also worth considering offering compensation to your tenants in recognition of their co-operation and inconvenience during the inspections until the property is sold.
If in doubt of where you stand, ask you property manager or you are welcome to contact me and we can discuss your options.