Victorian Court ruling will impact all landlords

Victorian Court ruling will impact all landlords

A recent Supreme Court decision in Victoria has already impacted on residential tenancies in that state and is very likely to do the same across the country.

The decision

Essentially, in Jafarpourasr v. Tancevski the Court heard a tenant’s appeal against a VCAT decision that had been in favour of the landlord. The tenant had been issued a Notice to Leave with a 60 day notice period. The Notice cited the relevant section of the Act. The accompanying cover letter informed the tenant that the owner required possess of the property because a family member was moving in.

The Supreme Court found in favour of the tenant, agreeing with the case put forward by her legal representative that there was insufficient information on the Notice to Leave therefore making it invalid.

What does this mean for landlords?

VCAT has already published advice that information contained in notices to tenants must be very specific. It is no longer sufficient to just quote the part of the Act on which you are basing the notice. You must provide detailed explanation.

For example, in the case that triggered this, the notice needed to include the name of the family member moving in and the connection to the landlord. If you are issuing a notice to vacate because you want to renovate the property, you will need to include details of the renovation and explain why the property cannot be lived in. To be safe, you could even provide copies of any Council development/building approvals for the work.

As is often the case, this ruling is likely to spread to other states. It is prudent for landlords to adopt this approach even if the property is not in Victoria.

Related reading:

Jafarpourasr v Tancevski (2018)

VCAT advice

Get it in writing

Diane Bukowski

When I first started my company eezirent I wrote a small online newsletter for private landlords in Australia. It explored the common problems landlords encounter when self-managing. This simple publication has now grown into Honest Broker.

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