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How and When to Evict Tenants

It’s a worst case scenario but there may come a time when a landlord needs to evict tenants from their rental property.

There are a number of reasons for a landlord or property manager to evict tenants however generally this is due to them breaching the terms of their lease agreement.

If an agreement cannot be reached, and the tenant will not leave of their own accord, the unfortunate next step is eviction.

It’s important to refer to your state’s residential tenancy authority before evicting tenants as the rules can differ from state-to-state.

Reasons for eviction

Landlords need to have a legal and valid reason to evict tenants.

The following situations could constitute a breach of lease agreement and warrant evicting your tenants:

  • Failure to pay rent after receiving reminder notices.
  • Consistently late rental payments.
  • Malicious damage caused to the property.
  • Using the property for illegal purposes, such as drug manufacturing.
  • Being a nuisance to neighbours.
  • Breach of any other obligation written in the lease agreement.

Landlords should note that there may be grounds for a tenant to appeal these reasons for eviction, including age, health, and lack of alternate accommodation.

Issuing notices

Before you can evict tenants, the correct notices need to be delivered to them and the tenant must have the opportunity to remedy any issues.

Notice types and periods can differ from state-to-state. The reason for eviction can also impact how much notice is to be given.

For example, in most states tenants must be served a Notice to Remedy if they haven’t paid their rent. They will be given 14 days to make the payment.

Only at the end of that period, and if the rent hasn’t been paid, can the landlord issue an eviction notice.

Some reasons to evict tenants require longer notice periods than others. Breaches of lease agreement generally only required 14 days’ notice. Meanwhile, landlords who sell their property and need it vacated must give tenants 30 days’ notice for ceasing their lease

Evicting the tenant

After all notices have been delivered, to end the lease and evict tenants, you need to provide them with a termination notice.

The termination notice must:

  • Be in writing.
  • Be signed and dated by the property manager or landlord / property owner.
  • Be properly addressed to the tenant with correct, legal name.
  • Give the day on which the lease agreement is terminated and by which date the tenant is required to vacate.
  • Where appropriate, give the grounds or reason for the notice.
  • Be sure to keep a copy of this notice as proof of evicting the tenants.

When evicting tenants, it’s important to follow the correct steps. Failing to do so could result in a landlord being taken to court or tenancy tribunal, where they could be ordered to pay compensation.


By Carolyn Parrella, Terri Scheer Insurance Executive Manager



The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. Terri Scheer does not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it.

Insurance issued by Vero Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance and consider whether it is right for you. Contact Terri Scheer on 1800 804 016 or visit our website at www.terrischeer.com.au for a copy.

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