Property Owners ALERT: Changes to Notices to Leave – Effective October 2022

Landlords and tenants need to be aware of significant changes to the manner in which a Form 12 Notice to Leave may be issued in respect of a residential tenancy agreement from 1 October 2022.  The Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (Qld) (HLAA) is introducing new notice periods which will apply when issuing a Form 12.

One of the most significant changes is the RTRAA (Residential Tenancy & Rooming Accommodation Act) will no longer allow a Form 12 to be issued on a ‘without grounds’ basis.

Fixed Term Tenancies:

New grounds for the issuing of a Form 12 will be introduced and include:

  • demolition or redevelopment (2 months and not before end of fixed term)
  • significant repair or renovations (2 months and not before end of fixed term)
  • change of use (2 months and not before end of fixed term)
  • ending of entitlement to student accommodation (1 month)
  • State government program (2 months and not before end of fixed term)
  • owner occupation (2 months and not before end of fixed term).

Where the property is to be sold, the notice period will increase to 2 months (having previously been 4 weeks) and, where the property which is to be sold is subject to a fixed term tenancy agreement, the handover date stipulated in the notice must not be before the end date of the fixed term.

Periodic agreements

From 1 October 2022, a lessor’s ability to bring a periodic tenancy to an end will be far more onerous given the removal of the right to end a tenancy ‘without grounds’.

If you are the owner of a rental property which is currently subject to a periodic agreement, you should take early steps, prior to the new legislation coming into force, to decide whether to:

  • require the tenant(s) to now enter into a fixed term agreement; or
  • issue a Form 12 without grounds.

Allowing a fixed-term lease to expire and become Periodic will no longer be an option for many landlords.  If you do not want to sell and are not planning on renovating, then allowing a lease to expire will enable your tenant to remain in the property indefinitely unless they breach the terms of the lease. 

Many Landlord/Tenancy insurance policies limit coverage if tenancies are periodic. It is sound risk management and best practice to have tenancies on fixed term leases unless there is an exceptional reason for the tenancy to remain periodic.

If your property is being managed by a property manager, you need to consult with them ASAP in terms of all of the above – if they haven’t already been in touch with you prior.

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