While a high percentage of tenants will enter, stay, and leave your rental premises without a hitch, there are going to be times when something goes wrong. So what do you do as a rental property owner if your tenant decides to bail out before the end of the lease, leaving you high and dry? Years of experience with tenants has shown Baxton Property Management in Hobart the best ways for property owners to handle break-leases.
There are some instances in which a tenant has to break the lease either because of changes in their life and needs, or because they believe that their situation is untenable because they believe that the landlord has broken his or her side of the tenancy agreement. These situations can usually be dealt with by reaching a mutual agreement between landlord and tenant in the case of lifestyle changes, or by the tenant petitioning the court for a legal order of termination in the case of a dispute.
What is Abandonment?
When is a tenant considered to have abandoned a property? The simple answer is that the fact that they aren’t there is not enough of a reason to do so. The basic ruling in terms of the Residential Tenancy Act of 1997 is that a property can be considered to have been abandoned if a tenant leaves it without notice and neither a notice to terminate or notice to vacate have been served. But that’s not the end of the story.
Provided the absent tenant is still paying rent, they cannot be considered to have abandoned the premises, even if they are no longer living there. And even when they are not paying rent and have fallen into arrears, the landlord cannot simply assume they have abandoned the property. They might still return and pay the arrears.
What does a Landlord do to Rectify the Situation?
The landlord is therefore often forced to turn to the Magistrate’s Court of Tasmania for an order of abandonment. If the court grants this order, it gives the owner or landlord vacant possession immediately, and the landlord is able to move on with the process of getting a new tenant to fill the unexpected vacancy.
The tenant who has scarpered doesn’t get away scot free. They are considered responsible for the rent until the lease expires or the landlord can find a new tenant. They must also cover some of the costs that the landlord incurs in finding a replacement tenant, provided these are costs are generated by third parties, and not by either the landlord himself, or his agent. The costs must also be calculated proportionate to the percentage of time left on the lease, as these costs would have been generated at that point anyway.
Abandonment can prove to be one of the most difficult things rental property owners have to deal with when operating a rental property. Not only does it disrupt their income flow, but it leaves them uncertain about the situation until definite confirmation is made that the tenant has gone for good. This is particularly difficult for first-time rental property owners and those who are renting out only one property and is the sort of situation in which the services provided by experienced specialists like Baxton Property Management in Hobart are able to show their value. Contact Baxton online for more information.
Syndicated by Baxton Media; the Market Influencers.
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