Every now and again, as a landlord or property manager, you may find yourself dealing with a nightmare tenant. So, what are your rights as a landlord and what can you do about it? If you have tried everything else and given numerous written warnings, you can then start proceedings to evict the tenant.
While you can’t evict tenants who have signed a lease without a good reason, things like not paying rent, causing malicious damage to the property or using the property for illegal purposes are excellent reasons for eviction. Unless there is a potential health and safety issue (which is grounds for immediate eviction) the minimum notice a landlord has to give, is generally 14 days.
You can find a complete list of reasons for eviction, and the minimum notice you are required to give here.
If you have to evict a tenant, even if they have done nothing wrong you still have to give the appropriate notice. This includes things like:
- The property has been sold
- The property is to be demolished or have revocation carried out
- The landlord is a government housing authority and the tenant no longer meets its eligibility criteria.
What to do next
It is important to note that proper protocol must be followed at all times. A landlord can’t just turn up at the property and take matters into their own hands without serious repercussions.
The first thing to do is give the tenant proper written notice. This must be by registered post or hand delivered directly to the tenant. If the tenant does not respond, the landlord can then go to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for an Order for Possession.
This may tell the tenant to leave and also give the landlord a warrant which can then be dealt with by the Police.
It is a good idea to keep a record of all documentation relating to the eviction. This includes a copy of lease and copies of any letters you have sent to tenant detailing the issues. Also keep copies of any other proof of your claim such as bank statements showing rent not being paid.
If you are a landlord and you need to get rid of a tenant for any reason, there are resources available to you. Just follow the proper channels and get the authorities involved. Visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria for more information and to get advice on how to evict tenants.