Tenant breach notices: Are yours valid?
A recent decision of the Queensland Supreme Court serves as an important reminder to landlords to seek legal input when preparing breach notices to tenants.
Many landlords are either unaware of the strict requirements around breach notices, which must be prepared in accordance with section 124 of the Property Law Act 1974 (Qld), or seek to avoid legal fees in issuing them. However, the decision in Tyrrell v Jesbro Enterprise* illustrates the risk that even the slightest deviation from the standard form can render such a notice invalid.
In Tyrell, the landlord served the tenant with a defective breach notice because the notice did not contain the “Note” which appears in the prescribed form. The Court held that:
- a failure to include the note was fatal to the validity of the notice;
- the note was there to give the defaulting tenant notice of what may be done to remedy the default and of the consequences of failure to remedy; and
- an argument that a notice provides the same substantial information will not necessarily get the notice across the line, because the positioning of the information is just as important as the information itself.
If you want to issue your tenant with a breach notice that you can rely on to terminate the lease and ask the tenant to leave the premises, the notice must comply with the legal requirements.
At Clifford Gouldson Lawyers, we can prepare or review your breach notice to ensure strict compliance with the requirements prescribed at section 124 of the Property Law Act 1974 (Qld) for a fixed fee.
Don’t risk serving a defective notice which can cost you thousands in legal fees in the long run! Call our Commercial + Property team to discuss.
If the tenant doesn’t comply with a valid notice, our Commercial + Property team can assist in properly terminating the lease and evicting the tenant. If the tenant owes money to the landlord, our Litigation + Dispute Resolution team can help the landlord pursue recovery of that debt.