Landlords seek early termination of lease due to hardship during Covid-19 pandemic – Which case won?
Parties enter into residential lease agreement
A husband, his wife and two children lived with the husband’s elderly mother in a house that she owned.
This enabled the husband and wife to rent out their home, becoming landlords under a residential tenancy agreement with the tenants.
Under that agreement, the tenants leased the premises for a period of 52 weeks, commencing on 12 August 2019 and ending on 9 August 2020.
Landlords seek order for early termination of lease due to Covid-19
On 30 March 2020, the landlords served the tenants with a notice of termination.
The notice required the tenants to give vacant possession of the premises on 9 August 2020, being the end of the 52-week lease period.
However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, the landlords became worried about putting the husband’s elderly mother at risk of infection by living with her.
On 16 April 2020 they applied to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, requesting an order for earlier termination of the lease.
The landlords claimed that in the special circumstances that existed, they would suffer undue hardship if the residential tenancy agreement was not terminated.
The tenants opposed the early termination of the lease, saying that they would suffer if it was terminated early.
It was up to the tribunal to decide whether to grant the order.
Both parties appeared at the tribunal via telephone due to the Covid-19 pandemic.