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tenant decision on renewing lease

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by ramblin72, 5th Sep, 2015.

  1. ramblin72

    ramblin72 Well-Known Member

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    I have a tenant and their lease is due for renewal early November. I emailed them to ask their intention on whether they would be renewing and they said they aren't sure.
    If they don't stay I will be hiring an agency to find a new tenant and based on the time it took last time to find a tenant, I would like to initiate that process at least a month before the new tenant might potentially leave....so early October.

    So my question is, how much am I able to push for a decision from them and can I set a deadline for them to make a decision by a certain date? I'm not fussed either way if they stay or go but just want to start getting my own ducks in a row as soon as I can without infringing on their 'rights'.

    thanks for any input
     
  2. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    When my son worked as a PM, I'm sure his company used to issue the new lease to be signed along with a notice to leave. That way, if the lease isn't signed, the notice to leave has been issued with enough notice so that know they either sign or leave.

    Looks like you need to give two months' notice plus some leeway for posting. You might still have time to issue this so that if they don't sign up again, at least you know it will be empty early November and you can find a tenant before the difficult Christmas period starts.

    If you don't have enough time to give two months (plus postage allowance) then you could issue now for mid-November so that they sign or you have an empty house mid-November.

    If you don't do this, they can issue you with two weeks' notice and you could find yourself with an empty house over the Christmas period (not great).

    I'd check with RTA if you are unsure after reading this. I've never done this myself, so just going off what I recall my son used to do, and reading this...

    https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/Renting/Ending-a-tenancy/Notice-periods-for-ending-a-tenancy
     
    Last edited: 5th Sep, 2015
  3. ramblin72

    ramblin72 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Wylie, looks like I can send that notice 2 months prior which is pretty much now. I will reply to them with that information subtly mentioned and ask for a firm decision by the end of this month.
     
  4. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I would actually send the form. They can tell you anything, but without the form issued, you have nothing. Tell them it is a formality to protect yourself from having an empty house over Christmas if they decide to leave. If I had a tenant in this situation I'd issue it. I've had an empty house over Christmas. Nobody moves at that time unless they really have to so finding a good tenant is difficult with such little interest (what I've found anyway).

    What I'd also do is maybe also offer them a three month lease to keep them over Christmas and if they do leave, try to have the lease date finish mid January to allow yourself to find a tenant at the peak time. That might mean a lease that runs for an odd number of months to get you to that time. I do this.
     
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  5. ramblin72

    ramblin72 Well-Known Member

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    thanks Wylie, that is great advice. In thinking about it more, what I want to avoid is having to engage the RE to find someone if I don't have to. So issuing the notices covers me so to speak but doesn't negate the admin hassle I want to avoid. I think I've got a way to go forward now though so will just word it all in a subtle/non-threatening/give me a damn answer way :)

    Having that knowledge about the 2 months notice just gives me confidence I'm not overstepping my boundaries.
    Thank you again!
     
  6. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Is the property in qld?

    In SA, you can send out both a lease renewal and a form 2a (termination) , this way one of the above always happens. Do NOT want a tenant going onto periodic tenancy as then the income is less secure and the rules tilt in their favour.

    Each state will have its own rules about showing new tenants through at end of lease. It'll generally only be allowed in the last 14 days and with reasonable notice.
     
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  7. sydprop

    sydprop Active Member

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    I would want to be confident that any tribunal would rule in your favour that you can terminate a valid agreement to force a tenant into a fixed term. I don't know which way this would go but it doesn't seem reasonable since you already have agreed to an ongoing arrangement.

    If you have a good tenant - you are taking cost (agency fees, wear/tear) for a potential risk. Some tenants do move every 12 months - but most don't - especially over year end!
     
  8. ramblin72

    ramblin72 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks sydprop for the comments. I wouldn't be terminating any agreements...unless I have misunderstood what you wrote? They have a fixed term lease and that won't change at all
     
  9. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    @ramblin72: unless you send out a notice to terminate, they will roll onto a periodic tenancy (no fixed term) automatically. So if you send them a new fixed-term lease and they simply don't respond, they'll be on a periodic tenancy.

    If you're insistent that they be on a fixed-term tenancy, then you issue a notice to leave simultaneously with the offer of a new fixed term, which makes it plain to the tenant that rolling on to a periodic tenancy is not an option: their options are either to leave at the expiry of the notice, or to enter into a new fixed-term agreement.

    With respect, this is pretty basic stuff, and if you didn't know this, I'm not sure you should be self-managing.

    Further, your wish to "push them for a decision" sounds un-businesslike. You should make it clear - via notices - what the tenant's options are, then wait for them to respond (via the appropriate forms and notices). Emailing them asking them for decisions is both unprofessional and, if outside the notice period they're required to give you, is an infringement of their rights.
     
  10. sydprop

    sydprop Active Member

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    Might be a misunderstanding. Your tenant (in normal circumstances) have a tenancy agreement that has a fixed term which then automatically changes to periodic at the end of the fixed term. Neither you nor your tenants need to do anything and the leased continues under the terms for periodic tenancy. This is standard.

    You can agree another fixed term with the tenants or as suggested in other posts, you could take a more aggressive approach and try to force the tenant to take another fixed term lease by terminating the current tenancy agreement.