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Dealing with Tenants Who Refuse to Vacate in Perth: A Landlord’s Guide

Posted by Justine Valender on 16/05/2024

Are you a landlord in Perth, Western Australia, facing the challenging situation of tenants who refuse to vacate your property? Dealing with such circumstances can be daunting, but understanding your rights and legal options is crucial. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through this process effectively.

Dealing with Tenants who refuse to vacate in Perth: A Landlord's Guide

What to do if you have tenants who refuse to vacate your property:

  1. Know Your Rights: As a landlord, you have rights protected by Western Australia’s tenancy laws. These laws outline the procedures you must follow when dealing with a tenant who refuses to move out. Familiarize yourself with the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and seek legal advice if necessary to ensure you’re fully aware of your rights and obligations.
  2. Serve a Notice to Vacate: The first step in dealing with a non-compliant tenant is to serve them with a formal notice to vacate the property. The notice period can vary depending on the reason for eviction, such as non-payment of rent or breach of lease terms. Typically, notice periods range from 7 to 30 days.
  3. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of all communication with the tenant, including copies of the notice to vacate, emails, letters, and any other relevant documentation. This documentation will serve as evidence in case legal proceedings are necessary.
  4. Apply for a Possession Order: If the tenant fails to vacate the property after the notice period expires, you can apply to the Magistrates Court or the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for a Possession Order. This legal document authorizes the eviction of the tenant and grants you possession of the property.
  5. Court Proceedings: In some cases, the tenant may contest the application for a Possession Order, leading to a court hearing. During the hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present their case, and the court will make a decision based on the evidence provided.
  6. Enforcement: If the court grants the Possession Order and the tenant still refuses to vacate the property, you can seek assistance from the court bailiff or sheriff to enforce the order. They have the authority to physically remove the tenant and their belongings from the premises.
  7. Seek Legal Advice: Dealing with a tenant who refuses to move out can be complex, and seeking legal advice is highly recommended. A qualified legal professional specializing in tenancy law can provide you with expert guidance and representation throughout the process.
  8. Stay Compliant with the Law: It’s crucial to ensure that you follow all legal procedures and requirements when dealing with a non-compliant tenant. Failing to do so could result in delays or complications in the eviction process and may even lead to legal repercussions.
  9. Maintain Professionalism: While dealing with a difficult tenant can be frustrating, it’s essential to maintain professionalism and avoid engaging in any behavior that could be perceived as harassment or intimidation. Stick to the legal process and let the authorities handle the situation.
  10. Prevention is Key: To avoid similar situations in the future, conduct thorough tenant screening before entering into a lease agreement. Check references, conduct background checks, and verify employment and income to ensure you’re renting to reliable tenants.

Dealing with a tenant who refuses to move out requires patience, diligence, and adherence to legal procedures. By knowing your rights, documenting everything, seeking legal advice when needed, and following the correct eviction process, you can effectively resolve the situation and regain possession of your property. Remember, prevention is key, so take proactive measures to screen tenants and mitigate potential issues before they arise.

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