Last updated 11 August 2016
An agreement may end if both parties agree that it end. However, a provider can require a resident to leave where there is an alleged breach of the rooming accommodation agreement. The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) (RTRA Act) prescribes a process that must be followed which includes:
- the provider must first give the resident a notice requiring the resident to remedy the breach
- the requisite will vary depending on the nature of the breach that is alleged.
Ultimately, where such a notice is given and the breach is not rectified, the provider may require a resident to leave the premises. In such circumstances, if the breach relates to the non-payment of rent, the resident must leave four days after notice to leave is given, otherwise two days after the notice is given.
Notwithstanding the above, a provider can ask a resident to leave immediately if the provider believes the resident has used the room for an illegal purpose, or the resident or a guest has intentionally or recklessly destroyed or damaged the property, or interfered significantly with the reasonable peace, comfort and privacy of other residents.
In all other circumstances, a provider may terminate a rooming accommodation agreement, which is a periodic agreement and not for a fixed term by giving at least 30 days written notice to the resident.
Ultimately, if a resident is lawfully asked to leave and refuses to, the provider may, with the assistance of other people as necessary, use such reasonable force as necessary to remove the resident from the premises. Such force can only be used while a police officer is present.
Termination without ground
If no reason is given for ending an agreement as set out in the RTRA Act, it is called ‘without ground’.
A provider can end a periodic agreement without ground only by giving at least 30 days notice to the resident. A service provider can end a fixed-term agreement without ground only at the end of the term and not less than 14 days after notice was given (s 372 RTRA Act).
A resident can end a periodic agreement without ground only by giving at least seven days notice to the service provider (s 381 RTRA Act).
General breach of the agreement
If either the provider or resident has breached a condition of the agreement, a notice to remedy breach has been issued and the other party has not fixed the breach by the due date, the provider or resident issuing the notice can choose either to ignore the breach and continue the agreement or proceed to end the agreement.
If the party chooses to end the agreement because the breach has not been fixed by the due date, the service provider may issue a notice to leave or a resident may issue a resident leaving form. The service provider’s notice to leave must give at least four days notice if the breach is for non-payment of rent and two days notice for any other breach (s 369 RTRA Act) while the resident must give at least seven days notice.
Non-payment of rent
Where the agreement has ended because rent has not been paid, and the resident has not paid the rent by the time required under a notice to remedy breach, the service provider can give the resident a notice to leave.
If the resident has been there for less than 28 days, they can be asked to leave immediately. If they have been a resident for more than 28 days, the notice to leave must allow at least four days for the resident to leave.
Serious breach of the agreement
The service provider may give a resident a notice to leave requiring the resident to leave the premises immediately if the provider believes the resident has committed a serious breach of the agreement for example:
- the resident has used their room for an illegal purpose
- the resident has destroyed or seriously damaged a part of the premises, endangered another person or has significantly interfered with the peace, comfort and privacy of another resident
- the resident has abandoned the premises (s 75 RTRA Act)
- hardship (s 118 RTRA Act).
Goods or money left behind
The RTRA Act prescribes that when a resident leaves the premises and has left behind personal property, the provider must make reasonable efforts to contact the former resident about the property and store the property safely for at least 28 days unless it is claimed in the meantime.
If at the end of the 28-day period the property has not been reclaimed, the provider must give it to the Public Trustee.
If the property does not consist of personal documents or money, the provider may sell the property or dispose of it in any other way, if the provider reasonably believes it is perishable or its market value is less than the amount prescribed under the regulations, or the storage of the goods would be unhealthy or unsafe. This can only be done once the provider has made reasonable efforts to contact the former resident and has stored the property safely for at least 28 days.