51 Termination by notice
  • (1) Subject to sections 52, 53, 53A, 59, and 59A, the minimum period of notice required to be given by a landlord to terminate a tenancy shall be as follows:

    • (a) where the owner of the premises requires the premises as the principal place of residence for the owner or any member of that owner’s family, 42 days:

    • (b) where the landlord customarily uses the premises, or has acquired the premises, for occupation by employees of the landlord, that fact being clearly stated in the tenancy agreement, and the premises are required for occupation by such an employee, 42 days:

    • (c) where the owner is required, under an unconditional agreement for the sale of the premises, to give the purchaser vacant possession, 42 days:

    • (d) in any other case, 90 days.

    (2) Subject to sections 52 to 53A, 59, and 59A, the minimum period of notice required to be given by a tenant to terminate a tenancy shall be 21 days, in any case.

    (3) Every notice to terminate a tenancy shall—

    • (a) be in writing; and

    • (b) identify the premises to which it relates; and

    • (c) specify the date by which the tenant is to vacate the premises; and

    • (ca) in any case where the tenant is given less than 90 days’ notice, set out the reasons for the termination; and

    • (d) be signed by the party giving the notice, or by that party's agent.

    (4) In a notice to terminate a tenancy, no special form of words shall be required; and no such notice shall be held invalid for any failure to comply strictly with the requirements of subsection (3) so long as the notice is in writing, the intention to terminate the tenancy on a particular date or on the expiry of a particular period is stated clearly in the notice, and that any non-compliance is not such as to mislead or affect unjustly the interests of the recipient.

    (5) A notice to terminate a tenancy may be given on any day, and the period of notice may be expressed to expire on any day, regardless of the date on which the tenancy commenced or of any date on which any rent is to be paid.

    (6) A party who has given an effective notice to terminate a tenancy—

    • (a) may, at any time before the expiry of the period of notice, revoke the notice with the consent of the other party; but

    • (b) may give a further notice to terminate the tenancy only if the prior notice is revoked.

    (7) Where a party has given a notice to terminate the tenancy and subsequently realises that, because of—

    • (a) some error in the way in which the period of the notice or the date of the expiry of that period is expressed in the notice; or

    • (b) some delay in serving the notice,—

    the period of notice given is less than the minimum prescribed by subsection (1) or (as the case may require) subsection (2), that party may, with the agreement of the other party or (failing such agreement) with the consent of the Tribunal, give to the other party a further notice varying the first notice so as to bring the period of notice given up to or above that minimum so required.

    (8) Every notice given under subsection (7) shall comply with the requirements of subsection (3).

    (9) The Tribunal shall not give its consent under subsection (7) unless it is satisfied—

    • (a) that the error in the notice or the delay in serving the notice was inadvertent; and

    • (b) that the party who gave the notice has sought to correct the matter as soon as practicable after realising that the period of notice given is inadequate; and

    • (c) that it would not be unfair to the other party to allow the original notice to be varied in the manner proposed.

    Compare: Residential Tenancies Act 1978–1981 ss 62, 64(1)(ca), (2), 65, 69, 70 (SA)

    Section 51(1): amended, on 1 October 2010, by section 33(1) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

    Section 51(1)(a): substituted, on 1 October 2010, by section 33(2) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

    Section 51(1)(c): substituted, on 1 October 2010, by section 33(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

    Section 51(2): amended, on 1 October 2010, by section 33(4) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

    Section 51(3)(ca): inserted, on 1 October 2010, by section 33(5) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

    Section 51(6): substituted, on 1 October 2010, by section 33(6) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).