When a tenancy is terminated as provided in the legislation, the parties to the agreement are no longer bound by that agreement, but the parties may still seek compensation for losses suffered as a result of the other party?s action. Some of the provisions in the Residential Tenancies Act 1994 that deal with these matters are:
s.225 -Tenant remaining in possession;
s.226 - Compensation on abandonment termination notice; and
s.250 ? Orders about breach of Agreement
? in particular subsection (3) which sets out compensation in favour of the lessor where the tenant vacates prior to the end of the fixed term agreement. In general terms either the lessor or the tenant may apply to the Tribunal for an order for compensation after the tenancy has been terminated, but that claim must be made within six months of the date on which the breach of the agreement occurred. The general effect of termination is that the tenant has handed over possession and the premises are vacant, except where the Tribunal issues a warrant of possession. The tenant is not obliged to care for the premises nor is the lessor obliged to provide notices to enter the premises and the lessor can seek new tenants. As provided in the provisions where a party has suffered a loss due to the other party breaching the agreement, a claim for compensation can be lodged.
The impact on residential tenancy agreements of any severe water restrictions contemplated by local authorities is yet to be determined, however some basic matters should be considered. As I have stated in previous articles, tenants are not expected to care for gardens in a manner that would be expected from a horticulturalist. A tenant must comply with all local authority water restrictions. If the result of such compliance results in lawns, trees or other vegetation dying, then the tenant cannot be held liable. I would suggest that a special provision be inserted into the agreement to cover this situation.
Reprinted from Update with the permission of the RTA