A breach of the tenancy agreement is when the property manager/owner or tenant fails to comply with any part of the agreement.
Examples of breaches
Tenant: non-payment of rent, not keeping the property in good condition, keeping a pet without permission
Property manager/owner: not maintaining the property, not repairing something that was broken, not providing the services listed in the agreement
When there is a breach
The property manager/owner and tenant should discuss the breach and try to work out a solution (e.g. work out a repayment schedule for rent arrears, or agree on how damage can be fixed).
If this does not work a Notice to remedy breach (Form 11) or Notice to remedy breach (Form R11) may be issued.
The notice informs the other person there is a problem or dispute and asks for the situation to be fixed within a specific timeframe.
Disputing a breach notice
If the property manager/owner and tenant cannot agree about the breach, or if there is a dispute over whether the notice should have been issued, the property manager/owner or tenant may apply for dispute resolution assistance. If the matter remains unresolved they may make a non-urgent application to QCAT.
Breach is not fixed
If the breach is not resolved, and it is a significant breach, the:
A significant breach by a tenant involves one of these 4 issues:
- using the property for an illegal purpose
- the number of occupants allowed to live at the property
- keeping a pet when not included in the written agreement
- a matter which will cost more than the equivalent of 1 week’s rent to fix
A property manager/owner or tenant can apply to QCAT to have the tenancy ended if:
- they have issued a Notice to remedy breach on 2 occasions for the same breach (and each breach was rectified),
- a third breach occurs within a 12 month period, and
- the problem is of a serious nature
Applying to QCAT does not automatically mean the agreement will be terminated. The tenant should continue to pay rent until the agreement is formally ended.
Terminating an agreement
The person giving the notice should consider whether the problem warrants terminating the agreement. If an agreement is ended without sufficient reason the person giving the notice may be responsible for losses incurred by the disadvantaged person.