Opinion: I’m a real estate agent and this is why we should keep ‘no-grounds’ evictions

Source: Supplied

The NSW Government decided to keep ‘no-grounds’ evictions as part of the upcoming rental reforms package. Many tenants are anxious, but estate agent Hannah Tatam thinks this move is good for tenants and landlords alike.

With an ever-increasing population and unaffordable housing in the inner city, we need to find a balance that encourages private investment, while still allowing long-term renters the ability to feel secure in their homes.  Put simply, the more investment properties there are, the more competition there will be. This results in lower rents and better conditions for tenants.

So, what does a no-grounds notice actually mean?

A ‘no-grounds’ eviction is the legal term when a landlord decides a tenant needs to move out after a fixed-term lease has expired.  Typically, it means the landlord: needs to move in, needs to renovate or needs the property empty to sell it. Once issued, the tenant has at least 90 days to move and can vacate at any point without giving notice.  There is no legal obligation for the landlord or agent to disclose the specific reason for the ‘no-grounds’ notice to the tenant, but most will.

What if I’ve been evicted after complaining?

If a tenant is served a ‘no grounds’ eviction notice after complaining to their landlord, they can apply to have the matter heard by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. So, for instance, if a tenant disputes an excessive rent increase, or a landlord refuses to comply with a request or order to repair the property, then the Tribunal could rule that the eviction was ‘retaliatory’ and may declare that it has no effect.

What would happen if ‘no-grounds’ evictions were banned?

Removing the option for a ‘no-grounds’ eviction would make investment less appealing to landlords and would likely see an increase in short, fixed-term leases.  Tenants are already competing with the likes of Airbnb, which is gradually taking long-term rental homes off the market.  We need legislation that continues to make long-term property investment appealing to landlords while protecting tenants from those who do the wrong thing.

Hannah Tatam is a property manager at Warwick Williams real estate. 

For more information on your rights as a renter, click here: https://www.tenants.org.au/factsheet-10-landlord-ends-agreement