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LAW CHANGES IN COVID 19 – WHAT LANDLORDS MUST KNOW

Updated: May 18, 2021

When it comes to adapting the world post-covid-19, here is everything landlords must know about the recent changes in terms of 'notices to vacate and eviction'.


The circumstances in which a landlord or mortgagee can give a notice to vacate have been significantly reduced. No longer can a notice to vacate be given where a tenant causes danger or damage or fails to keep premises in a habitable condition, where tenant fails to pay rent (after 14 days) or bond, or for successive breaches of the rental agreement. Likewise, a tenant is not permitted to give a notice of intention to vacate unless the tenant requires special or personal care, is able to move to public housing or temporary crisis accommodation, or is suffering severe hardship. There are additional exemptions relating to special disability housing. If these cases apply (and in cases involving family or domestic violence orders), a landlord cannot charge break fees or claim compensation for early termination of the lease. Similarly, possession orders (eviction) will only be possible where VCAT has made an order terminating a lease and the tenant has not vacated by the given date. Again, VCAT will balance the interests of all parties in making such orders. It is important to note that if a notice to vacate was given prior to 29 March with a termination date on or after 29 March, the notice is of no effect. Further, a possession order obtained before 29 March will not entitle a landlord to evict a tenant unless the eviction would have been lawful under the new measures.

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