Giving Notice to Vacate

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Information as found on NSW Fair Trading website

Giving a termination notice

Information for landlords

When you want to end the tenancy it is important that you follow the correct procedures. If you don't do this you run the risk of causing an unnecessary delay in getting back possession of your property or having to start the process all over again.

Amount of notice required

If you want the tenant to vacate you must give them a termination notice. The notice must:

  • be in writing
  • be signed and dated by you or your agent
  • be properly addressed to the tenant
  • give the day on which the residential tenancy agreement is terminated and by which the tenant is required to vacate
  • where appropriate, give the grounds/reason for the notice.

You can write your own notice or use the model termination notice provided by Fair Trading.

The minimum period of notice you can give the tenant to vacate is:

  • 14 days – if the tenant is 14 days or more behind with the rent or has committed some other breach of the tenancy agreement
  • 30 days – if the fixed term of the agreement is due to end
  • 30 days – if the premises have been sold after the fixed term has ended and vacant possession is required by the buyer under the terms of the sale contract
  • 90 days – if the fixed term period has expired and no new agreement has been signed.

These notice periods are designed to give tenants reasonable time to find another rental property. If they can find a property sooner they can move out at any time without having to give you any formal notice. Except where notice has been given for the end of the fixed term, the tenant's responsibility to pay rent ends from the date they hand back possession, not the end of the notice.

There is no minimum notice period required if notice is given on the grounds of:

  • the premises being destroyed or wholly or partly uninhabitable
  • ceasing to be legally usable as a residence
  • being acquired by a compulsory process (eg. by the RTA)
  • on the death of the sole tenant.

After you issue a notice you can issue another notice on a different ground if necessary. For example, if you issue 90 days notice to terminate a periodic tenancy without a reason, and the tenant then doesn't pay rent for 14 days, you can issue a nonpayment of rent notice.