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Eviction notices

Eviction notices – What is the process?

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Eviction notices can be a tricky area and the best outcome is achieved when owners, agents and renters all stay in close communication and respect each other’s situation. Below we discuss.

1. What are the main types of notices?
2. Why do they need to be issued?
3. What is the process for issuing them?
4. What to do if you receive a notice?
5. What are my rights and responsibilities?

Many notices to either renters or owners are part of day to day renting and property management. Some are just letting you know that the renter is moving out or the owner has decided to sell.

Other notices are more serious and can be because of unresolved dispute or breaches.

The process of evicting a renter from a residential property can be complex and is a legally regulated process. It is important to remember we are dealing with someone’s home and all the safety and stability issues a home provides. Eviction notices usually only come after long and exhaustive attempts to resolve the situation amicably.

There are different types of notices that can be served, depending on the situation. Eviction notices are just one of them.

1. Types of Notices in Victoria

There are many different forms of notices for everything from reminder to pay rent, owner is moving in or selling and more serious eviction notices. Here are some of the most common ones.

a) – Notice to vacate:

This is the most common type of eviction notice served to renters. It is usually given when a renter has breached the terms of their lease or rental agreement, such as not paying rent, causing damage to the property, or engaging in illegal activities.

It may also be because an owner is selling the property or is moving in themselves and would like the renter to move out.

A Notice to Vacate gives the renter a specific amount of time to vacate the property. This can be anywhere from 14 to 90 days, depending on the reason for the notice.

b) – Notice of intention to vacate:

This is a notice given by the renter to the owner or agent, stating their intention to vacate the property. The notice period varies depending on the rental agreement or lease, but it is usually 28 or 60 days.

c) – Notice of rent increase:

This is a notice given by the owner or agent to the renter, stating that the rent will be increased. The notice period varies depending on the rental agreement or lease, but it is usually 60 days.

d) – Notice to remedy breach:

This is a notice given by the owner or agent to the renter, stating that they have breached the terms of their lease or rental agreement and giving them a specific amount of time to remedy the breach, usually 14 to 28 days.

2. Why do they need to be issued?

It is important everyone is super clear about the intention of the other parties and what they are being asked to do. The various notices leave no uncertainty about both these points. They confirm anything that has been spoken about.

Also sometimes communication between parties can break down. The serving of a notice is the best way to confirm the notice has been delivered and received.

Some notices need to be issued by registered post so that there is no risk of someone not receiving it (or claiming they didn’t receive it).

3. Rules and process for serving notices

In Victoria, there are strict rules and processes that must be followed when serving eviction notices to renters. These rules are designed to protect the rights of both the owner and the renter.

Other more general notices like rent increases can be via email, but all of them must be in writing.

Specifically relating to eviction notices… the first step in serving an eviction notice is to identify the reason for the eviction. This will determine the type of notice that needs to be served and the amount of notice required.

Once the type of notice has been identified, the notice must be in writing and delivered to the renter in person or by post. If the notice is delivered by post, it must be sent by registered mail, and the owner or agent must keep a copy of the notice and the proof of delivery.

The notice must also include the reason for the eviction, the date by which the renter must vacate the property, and any other relevant information, such as the amount of rent owed or the breach that has occurred.

If the renter does not vacate the property by the date specified in the notice, the owner or agent may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a possession order. This process can take several weeks, and the renter will have the opportunity to present their case to the tribunal.

4. What to do if you receive a notice?

It depends on the notice. Usually however you should comply with it.

If the notice is for a rent increase however you do have the option of moving out or challenging it.

The agent can help you work through any situation to achieve the best outcome for all.

Consumer affairs provide more detail on rent increase notices. 

5. Rights and obligations of the owner, agent, and renter

In Victoria, both the owner and the renters have rights and obligations when it comes to eviction notices.

The owner or agent has the right to serve a notice to vacate if the renter has breached the terms of their lease or rental agreement. However, they must follow the rules and processes for serving eviction notices and cannot evict a renter without a possession order from VCAT.

The renter has the right to be given a reasonable amount of notice before being evicted and to present their case to VCAT if they dispute the eviction.

To read more about eviction notices, Consumer Affairs Victoria are a great resource.

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