What does a Notice to Remedy Breach really mean on a tenant’s record?

Mar 3, 2022

Whether you have fallen on hard times financially and weren’t able to pay the rent or threw a mass party that resulted in property damage – you might be wondering how serious it is to receive a notice to remedy breach and what you can do about it.

In short – if you have received a notice to remedy breach, it means you have breached any part of the general tenancy agreement.  Chances are the property manager or owner of the property would have discussed the breach with you to try and work out a solution prior to issuing the Notice to Remedy Breach, for example to work out a payment plan for rent arrears all parties agree to.

A Notice to Remedy Breach formally advises the receiving party that they have breached the tenancy agreement and must remedy it prior to the date specified to avoid further action.  If not remedied by the due date, the party who issued the notice to remedy breach may take further action such as issuing a Notice to Leave (Form 12) ending the tenancy. The RTA also provides some further information on the notice to remedy breach form on their website.

So, what does it really mean if you are a renter and receive a notice to remedy breach and how does it affect your eligibility to rent again?

A breach will most likely sit on your tenant file if you rent through a real estate agent, and even when remedied forms part of your rental history.  In most instances a property owner or owner’s agent will check out your history prior to approving you to rent a property and there is a good chance any breaches you have received in prior rental properties will come to light.  Obviously remedied breaches are more attractive to a new property owner or owners agent looking to rent to you, however you will appear much more credible without any blemishes on your rental history.

How do agents obtain rental references? Can I just leave my previous agent and address off my rental application so that nobody knows I often didn’t pay rent on time and have a back catalogue of breaches?

Not really.  Rental reference requests happen between managing agent to managing agent and these days are generally electronic.  You sign off allowing the necessary checks to take place and the agent will make contact with an array of your references to verify the information in your application is accurate and that you are a suitable candidate to rent the property.  There are a variety of ways that a real estate can obtain your previous addresses including the agents managing the property to obtain the required reference.  If you have lied about this key piece of information on your application, you may find it very difficult to get approved for your dream rental.

What should I do if I receive a notice to remedy breach?

Talk to the other party and make arrangements to remedy the breach as soon as possible.  In some instances you may be able to get the breach notice retracted if it is found to have been issued in error.  If you are reasonable and communicate with the owner or owners agent and do everything you can to ensure you are not in breach of the tenancy agreement you will have peace of mind that your overall rental history is clean and tidy when you are applying for a new home to rent.

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