Ending a Tenancy Agreement
When you decide to rent a property or sign a tenancy agreement. You would think that the only time you can leave the property is at the end of the term that you have signed for. However, tenants should know that there are certain things that could arise and give your landlord the option to be able to end your tenancy.
There are a number of reasons which a landlord may use to end the tenancy, and in fact most of these reasons would be covered in a tenancy agreement (in the case of a written tenancy), However, irrespective of whether or not a tenancy agreement exists, there are certain activities which if they occur, could give your landlord the right to end the tenancy agreement. We will discuss 4 of the important ones you need to know:
- Failure to pay rent– This goes without saying; you need to pay your rent! One of the key elements of a tenancy is the fact that you pay a certain amount monthly/quarterly/annually, and for that you are allowed to live on the landlord’s premises…failure to pay rent as at when due can give rise to an action for recovery of premises by the landlord.
- Violation of critical terms in the tenancy agreement- Most tenancies are written, and the terms of the agreements stipulate the rights, duties and liabilities of both parties. If the tenant breaches one of the ‘substantial’ clauses, for instance if there is a clause that prevents subletting of the apartment and you do so…the landlord could have a case to prematurely end your tenancy.
- Illegal activities– The tenancy should under normal circumstances have a clause preventing illegal activities on the premises, however irrespective of the existence of this clause, it is implied, and therefore if the tenant for some reason conducts illegal activities from the property, the landlord is entitled to commence action to recover the premises.
- Break clauses- A well-drafted tenancy agreements should have this. A break clause is simply a clause in an agreement, which gives a time when one (or both) parties can decide to prematurely end the tenancy.
As mentioned above, there are a number of circumstances under which a tenancy agreement may be ended, however the above just covers a few important instances which you should be aware of.
As a tenant, you are entitled to request from your landlord that you have a written tenancy agreement. A tenancy agreement is an important document because it basically outlines the terms of your tenancy in the property, in fact one could argue that this is the most important right of every tenant. Landlords can refuse to issue a tenancy agreement, but if your landlord does not give you one, then you should be very wary. In tenancy agreements of over 3 years, it is mandatory that the agreement be in writing.
Unfortunately, even when the landlord issues a tenancy agreement, most tenants just sign the documents without reviewing it properly. Ideally this agreement should be reviewed by a legal expert.
We hope you have found this information helpful. Please note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. This answer is not intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer. If you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified lawyer. If you would like to find out more about a consultation, you may click on the button below.