A set of rules and regulations governs business entities and property management, and strata communities are no exception. As a strata manager or owner, you need to understand the legislation governing it before performing your functions. You will inevitably experience tenants who are defiant in either failure to pay rent or damage to property in the course of your tenure. Your first instinct may be to evict the tenant; however, there are legislations that govern tenant eviction to consider. This article explains and educates you on your legal responsibilities with a tenant eviction.
Your Legal Responsibilities With Tenant Eviction
Ensure You Have A Leasing Agreement
First things first, prior to leasing your property or apartment unit, your tenant needs to sign a leasing agreement. The document serves as a legal contract that binds you and the tenant through the set rules and obligations. The lease contract is meant to protect both you and the tenant and facilitate a peaceful co-existence. By signing the agreement, the tenants agree and commit to abide by those rules. Additionally, the contract also mentions the type of tenancy obtained.
Understand The Tenancy Categories
There are two broad categories of a tenancy: fixed-term tenancy and periodic tenancy. A fixed-term tenancy is a type of tenancy where the tenant specifies the contract end date; in most cases, it takes more than a year. As the landlord, you cannot raise the rent or evict the tenant without breach of contract during this period. The tenant is also not allowed to break the tenancy without prior notice.
On the other hand, a periodic tenancy is a lease agreement that has not been set with an end date. The tenancy automatically gets renewed at the end of each period – in most instances, this is monthly.
Grounds For Termination Of Tenancy
As mentioned earlier, many reasons could make you want to terminate the leasing agreement. However, this should only be done based on the legal provisions. As a landlord, regardless of your reason for termination of tenancy, you need to notify the tenant. If the tenant does not honour this, you can take the matter to court, and upon review, the tenant may be issued an eviction notice if the termination was in line with the laws. Below are some of the grounds for termination of tenancy
Termination For Breach Of Contract
The tenancy agreement has rules and guidelines that are compulsory for the tenant to abide by. Breaching these rules is grounds enough for termination of the contract regardless of the type of tenancy. Some of the most common breaches of a contract include damage to property, non-payment, and nuisance to other tenants. If this is the case, you should serve the tenant with a 14-day termination notice. Failure to honour this calls for legal action.
Termination Without Grounds
At times, you might want to end the tenancy agreement for no reason at all. If this is the case, the rules vary depending on the type of tenancy. In the case of a periodic tenancy, you are allowed to terminate the contract on this basis so long as you give a 90-day prior notice. On the other hand, you cannot terminate a fixed-term tenancy without a valid reason. You can, however, terminate this tenancy at the end of the contract by informing them a month before the contract end date.
Termination For Sale Of Premises
In the event you want to sell off your property, you need to inform your tenants beforehand. This only applies to the periodic tenancy; you will have to wait until the contract end date for a fixed-term tenancy.