«The Residential Tenancies Act 1995 requires that a landlord or agent must give the tenant this information brochure at the time that a residential ...»
The prescribed forms, which must be used when issuing a notice of termination, are available from CBS and at www.sa.gov.au/tenancy/privaterentalforms Periodic tenancy The tenant may give 21 days' written notice or a period equivalent to a single period of the tenancy, (whichever is the longer), to the landlord at any time. For example, if the rent is paid weekly or fortnightly, the tenant is required to give 21 days' notice. If the rent is paid calendar monthly, the tenant would need to give a calendar month's notice.
The landlord may give written notice of termination at any time, as follows:
- the landlord requires possession of the premises for the landlord’s own occupation, or occupation by the landlord’s spouse, child or parent, or occupation by the spouse of the landlord’s child or parent - 60 days;
- premises required for demolition - 60 days;
- where the premises have been sold, to be given any date from the signing of the contract of sale - 60 days;
- possession of the premises is required for repairs or renovations that cannot be carried out conveniently while the tenant remains in possession of the premises days;
- notice where no reason is given - 90 days.
Fixed term tenancy Unless mutually agreed, neither the landlord nor the tenant can terminate a fixed term agreement before the end of the term without being held responsible for costs associated with finding a new tenant. For further information, contact CBS for advice;
Either the landlord or the tenant may terminate a fixed term agreement at the end of the term after giving at least 28 days written notice. If this notice is not given by either party, the agreement will continue as a periodic tenancy;
At the end of a fixed term tenancy, if 28 days notice is given to a tenant and the tenant has not vacated the premises, the landlord may apply to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) for an order for possession of the premises.
TERMINATION FOR BREACH OF AGREEMENT...
Both the landlord and the tenant can give a termination notice on the prescribed form to the other for a breach of the conditions of the lease. A breach of an agreement must be remedied within at least seven clear days from the date the notice is given.
If the landlord has served a valid termination notice for breach of contract or rent arrears of more than 14 days and the breach or rent arrears is not rectified within seven days, the tenancy may terminate when the notice expires. If vacant possession is not given by the requested date, the landlord may apply to SACAT for an order of possession. Only a SACAT bailiff can enforce an order for vacant possession.
If a party (the respondent) disputes the termination notice, they can apply to SACAT for an order stating that they are not in breach or that the breach has been fixed.
If a notice of termination is served for rent arrears on at least 2 occasions in a 12 month period, the landlord may make application to SACAT for vacant possession without first serving a third breach notice on the tenant.
TERMINATION FOR FRUSTRATED AGREEMENT…A landlord or tenant may terminate a residential tenancy agreement if the premises or a substantial portion of the premises are uninhabitable, or are no longer able to be used for residential purposes, or have been acquired by compulsory process.
Page 6 of 11 The landlord must provide at least 60 days notice to the tenant and the tenant may provide notice that the agreement will terminate immediately.
TERMINATION BY TENANT IF PREMISES FOR SALE…The tenant may terminate a residential tenancy agreement if within 2 months after the start of the agreement the landlord enters into a contract for the sale of the premises and the landlord did not advise the tenant of the intention to sell before the residential tenancy agreement was entered into.
TERMINATION FOR UNDUE HARDSHIP...
Under the Act, if continuing the tenancy would cause undue hardship to either the landlord or the tenant, an application can be lodged with SACAT for termination of the tenancy.
Generally ‘undue hardship’ does not include financial difficulties.
REFUND OF BOND...
The bond money belongs to the tenant. It is important for the tenant to arrange for the bond to be refunded when the tenancy ends.
It is important for the tenant to provide their landlord/agent or CBS with their forwarding address so they can be informed of the bond refund process.
Where parties agree At the end of the tenancy when the tenant and landlord agree how the bond is to be repaid, the bond can be refunded by lodging a bond refund form or submitting a claim online. If a bond refund form is lodged, it should be completed and signed by both parties (the signatures must be the same as those on the bond lodgement form). The bond can be paid via electronic funds transfer, or a cheque may be posted or collected from CBS.
Notice of claim If a bond is requested by the tenant without the landlord/agent’s consent, the landlord/agent is notified and given an opportunity to dispute it. If the refund is not disputed the bond will be paid to the tenant. If the refund is disputed the landlord/agent will be required to lodge an online application with SACAT.
If a bond is claimed by the landlord/agent without the tenant’s consent, the tenant is notified and given an opportunity to dispute it. If the claim is disputed, the landlord/agent will be required to lodge an online application with SACAT. If there is no response by the tenant/resident, the landlord/agent will be required to provide CBS with evidence of their claim and if the claim is not substantiated it may be refused and the landlord/agent will then need to make an application to SACAT. If the tenant agrees with the claim the bond will be paid out.
Disputed bonds A bond dispute will be referred to SACAT who will list the matter for a conciliation conference. If the matter cannot be conciliated, a full hearing may be set down for a later date.
If a dispute arises over how the bond should be refunded, either party can contact CBS on 131 882.
Tenants Information and Advisory Service (TIAS) can provide free and independent advocacy support at SACAT. For more information about their services contact TIAS on 1800 060 462.
Page 7 of 11 Unclaimed money If a bond has been paid for a property rented in the past and the refund of that bond has not been applied for, that bond may still be held in the Residential Tenancies Fund. After providing details about the tenancy in question (e.g. the exact address, the other party’s name, the bond amount and proof of identity), CBS can refund the bond accordingly.
If you believe there is unclaimed money belonging to you held in the Fund, please contact CBS on 131 882.
SUBLETTING AND ASSIGNMENT...
A tenant has the right, with the landlord's written approval, to sublet the rental premises, or assign their interest to another party. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold consent or charge for subletting or assignment, except for reasonable expenses in doing so.
To 'sublet' means that a tenant rents out all or part of the premises to someone else, and in effect becomes the landlord to the subtenant. To 'assign' means to transfer a tenancy to someone else. That does not mean, however, that the original tenant no longer has responsibility for the tenancy. Before subletting or assigning a tenancy, it is advisable to first contact CBS.
Consumer and Business Services’ role is to give advice to landlords and tenants and to resolve disputes. A party to a residential tenancy dispute may apply to CBS for conciliation of the dispute. Alternatively, SACAT may, either before or during the hearing of proceedings, appoint a mediator to achieve a negotiated settlement. SACAT may also refer the matter to a conciliation conference or hearing.
If you are a party to a tenancy dispute and require assistance, contact CBS on 131 882.
SACAT is an independent specialist Tribunal that provides a prompt and informal way of determining disputes between landlords and tenants. Both landlords and tenants may apply to SACAT to have disputes determined. There is a cost to apply to SACAT. Members of SACAT conduct hearings with a minimum of formality. Both parties are expected to attend and usually present their own cases. SACAT is located at Level 4, 100 Pirie Street, Adelaide and can be contacted on free call 1800 723 767, or visit www.sacat.sa.gov.au.
COMMUNITY HOUSING ORGANISATIONS…Housing co-operatives and housing associations are community managed organisations that provide rental housing for individuals and families on low incomes or with special housing needs.
The tenants of community housing organisations do not own the houses they live in, but rent them from the group. In some cases tenants may also be members of the group from which they are renting. Different rules apply for member tenants and non-member tenants.
Member tenants and non member tenants of community housing organisations are covered by the Act, but there are some sections of the Act where variations exist or which community housing organisations are not required to comply with.
It is possible for community housing organisations to obtain further exemptions from provisions of the Act by making an application to SACAT.
For information about joining a community housing organisation contact:
Community Partnerships & Growth Level 4, Roma Mitchell Building, 136 North Terrace, Adelaide.
Telephone: 1300 700 561. Website: www.communityhousing.sa.gov.au
Please note, only cash, cheque or money orders can be taken at these offices.
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