There comes a time when the landlord wants a tenant to vacate his or her premises for one reason or another. It is also possible for property management to get a notice from tenants who want to shift or leave the property because of varied reasons. The law guiding residential tenancies is clear on how a private landlord should ask a tenant to leave his or her premises. The same applies to other property management agencies or associations that require tenants to vacate their properties. It is necessary that the tenant get a minimum amount of notice, which would also depend on the length of the tenancy. This means that a landlord must provide a tenant notice to vacate.

For a tenant who has a fixed term, a monthly tenancy, or wants to end a tenancy, it is his or her responsibility to provide the landlord with a written notice to vacate. The landlord would be able to end the tenancy based on the type of accommodation in the agreement. Tenancy notice to vacate is a validly written notice asking you to leave.

Tenancy Legislation

The residential tenancy act sets out the obligations and rights of both the landlords and tenants. It introduces detailed requirements or rules that guide the residential tenancies. In the registration is the part 4 right that provides for the security of tenure for tenants who have lived in the house between 6 months to 4 years. It provides the details on how a notice of termination is contained and the required period.

In the scope of the legislation, a private residential tenancy means that the tenancy is agreed privately between the tenant and the landlord. Hence, the residential legislation covers those that are under the housing assistance payment rental accommodation schemes. If a tenant is renting a house that is part of the landlord’s home, the tenancy legislation does not cover him or her. This is because this legislation only covers the self-contained flats and apartments. If you are renting from the local authority, you will not be covered by the legislation as it follows the repossession procedures of social house renting.

How to Give Tenant a Notice to Vacate

The landlords have the power to end a fixed term tenancy lease before the date of the mutual agreement date signed with the tenant. The agreement is supposed to be in writing failure to which the landlord must provide the tenant with a clearly written notice to vacate.

It is also possible for the landlord to end the periodic tenancy through a mutual agreement with the tenants or through a written notice. The reasons and notice periods are the same as the fixed term tenancy. The landlords are usually required to use the tenant notice to vacate which must be delivered to the person who signed the tenancy agreement at the rented premises.

There are different ways that the landlord can use to give the tenant notice to vacate which includes:

  • By sending the letter of notice through a registered post
  • It can also be communicated through the tenant’s other contacts such as email and any other way that the tenant has given consent to receive communication or documents.
  • The landlord can also give the notice of tenancy by hand in person at the residence. If the tenant is not available, it allows him or her to leave the notice with the person appearing to be above 16 years and lives with the tenant.

What Should a Notice Contain

The notice being given to the tenant must contain the following aspects.

  • It must be addressed to the tenant through the official names as in the agreement.
  • The landlord must be able to provide clear reasons for the termination of tenancy. If there is no reason stated, the notice should have at least 120 days.
  • The notice given to the tenant should have a valid signature from the landlord or property management agency official.
  • It must allow the right amount of time to give notice to the tenant.
  • The date that the tenant should leave or should have left the house must be precise.
  • It is important to factor in the extra days that the notice would take before being delivered to the tenant, which would depend on the method used.

Reasons for Tenant Notice to Vacate

  • If the landlord has proof that the tenant or visitors to their rented house cause malicious damage to the house or other common areas. In this kind of reason, the landlord would be able to terminate tenancy immediately.
  • If there is sufficient proof that the tenant or people visiting their house is putting the neighbors in danger, the landlord can give an immediate termination notice.
  • When the tenant is unable to pay rent and does not have the capacity to pay, the landlord can give a 14 days’ notice.
  • If the landlord has evidence that the tenant is using the house for illegal business, a 14 days’ notice to vacate can be given.
  • The landlord may notice that a tenant was given the house without their consent, they have a right to give a 14 days’ notice to vacate the rented premises.
  • If the tenant has ignored paying the bond as is indicated in the agreement, the landlord can also give a 14 days’ notice to vacate.
  • Any illegal issues that the tenant could be involved in may prompt the landlord to give a 14-day notice to vacate.
  • There are other issues such as safety, repair, or change of property ownership that may require that a tenant is provided with a notice to vacate in accordance with the law.

It is important that tenancy agreement is understood and signed properly to avoid lawsuits with the tenants when terminating their tenancy. Evicting a tenant by locking the house or physically throwing their items out would lead to an injunction, which would allow them to leave the house. It could also lead to other disputes that may cost the property manager or damage the reputation of the property to potential tenants. It is a delicate balance; hence, landlords have to be cautious to avoid ruining their rental business.