Landlords in South Australia will soon need a valid reason to lawfully end a lease, bringing the state in line with most of Australia.
A ban on ‘no-grounds evictions’ means landlords cannot terminate a fixed-term lease, or end a period tenancy (e.g. month-to-month agreement) without an eligible reason.
Western Australia and the Northern Territory are now the only parts of Australia that have not banned, or proposed a ban, on no-grounds evictions.
According to the South Australian Government, a landlord can still evict a tenant if they want to sell, renovate, or live in their property.
Another eligible reason would be if a tenant breaches their lease agreement.
Draft laws are expected to be tabled in Parliament sometime this year.
What’s behind the no-grounds evictions?
The SA Government has announced several recent reforms in an attempt to support renters, with the state’s vacancy rates dropping to below 1%.
This includes a ban on rent-bidding and expanded eligibility for low-income government rental support programs. It has also proposed increasing a landlord’s minimum notice period from 28 to 60 days.
A review of SA rental legislation found 68% of South Australians support ending no-grounds evictions.
SA Opposition Leader David Speirs opposed the reforms, saying they would “contribute to landlords leaving the rental market and not providing homes to rent”.
“It’s important to get the appropriate protections in place for renters, but you can’t do that if you’re pushing landlords out of the market.”
Speirs said the current balance in agreements between landlords and renters was “reasonably good”, and signalled more support for tenant advocacy groups to address housing stress.
The rest of Australia:
Western Australia and the Northern Territory are yet to either ban, or launch plans to ban, no-grounds evictions.
WA Premier Roger Cook said his Government had no plans to outlaw no-grounds evictions.
Cook said a ban could compromise investment in WA’s property market, and believed his government’s rental policies strike “the right balance” between landlords and tenants.