Pilot bond-exit survey

The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (the Act) sets out how residential tenancy agreements are ended.

Tenancies are usually terminated by the tenant, landlord, agent, or by a Tribunal order.

Fair Trading conducted a pilot bond-exit survey to collect data about how and why tenancies end. The pilot ran from 2 December 2019 to 30 March 2020 and from 27 April to 11 May 2020.

A total of 17,582 responses were collected.

The survey process

Survey invitations were emailed to the principal tenant and nominated managing agent or landlord within 10 days of a bond claim being finalised through our online bonds system Rental Bonds Online (RBO).

Respondents had the remainder of the survey period to complete the survey.

Only tenancies where the bond was lodged using RBO were included.

Completion of the survey was voluntary, and no personal details were collected.

The collected survey data is available to download for use by the community, research, business and industry.

To mitigate re-identification risks, postcode information has been removed and response dates grouped into months.

The representativeness of the survey is limited because:

  • the sample only included respondents who used RBO to lodge and claim their rental bond. Approximately 50% of rental bonds that were claimed through RBO during the survey periods were originally lodged online, so the sample does not extend to all terminated tenancies.
  • no demographic information was collected, so it wasn't possible to analyse response representativeness
  • the sample is self-selecting, so it isn't possible to determine if the sample differs systematically from both the terminated tenancies from which it was drawn (i.e. tenants who lodged their bond using RBO) and all terminated tenancies.

Available for download:

Next steps for collecting information on why tenancies end

Fair Trading is considering options for the ongoing collection of information that can be used to inform, assess and evaluate tenancy policy in NSW.

This includes investigating how to improve the survey methodology to increases its reach and the ability to verify its representativeness.

Results of pilot survey - why tenancies ended

The following tables show what respondents reported as the reason why the tenancy ended for each category of response on how the tenancy was terminated (i.e. termination notice from agent/landlord, termination notice from tenant, termination by order of the Tribunal, or Other).

Table 1: Termination notice from agent or landlord

Survey response option – why the tenancy ended

Number

% of  landlord/ agent notices

Breach of tenancy agreement - other

106

3.5%

Breach of tenancy agreement - rent was in arrears (rent wasn't paid on time)

251

8.4%

End of fixed term agreement e.g. terminated at the end of a 3, 6 or 12-month lease

1299

43.3%

End of the periodic agreement (rolling lease)

“no grounds”

357

11.9%

Other (e.g. death of a tenant, tenant moving into social housing)

217

7.2%

Sale of the premises

686

22.9%

The premises have been destroyed, are uninhabitable, unusable or have been repossessed

66

2.2%

No response

18

0.6%

Total

3000

100.0%

Table 2:  Termination notice from tenant

Survey response option – why the tenancy ended

Number

Percent of tenant notices

Breach of the tenancy agreement

847

6.4%

Domestic violence

78

0.6%

End of fixed term agreement e.g. terminated at the end of a 3, 6 or 12-month lease

5844

44.4%

End of the periodic agreement (rolling lease)

5031

38.2%

Rent increase during a long term fixed agreement of 2 years or more

53

0.4%

Sale of premises

320

2.4%

The premises have been destroyed, are uninhabitable, unusable or have been repossessed

236

1.8%

The tenant accepted a place in an aged care facility

23

0.2%

The tenant moved into social housing

192

1.5%

No response

552

4.2%

Total

13176

100.0%

Table 3: Termination by order of the Tribunal

Survey response option – why the tenancy ended

Number

Percent of Tribunal orders

Breach of tenancy agreement

89

58.9%

Domestic violence

6

4.0%

End of long-term tenancy

2

1.3%

End of the fixed term agreement e.g. terminated at the end of a 3, 6 or 12-month lease

23

15.2%

End of periodic agreement (rolling lease)

6

4.0%

Landlord hardship

2

1.3%

Other (e.g. death of a tenant, tenant moving into social housing)

9

6.0%

Sale of the premises

2

1.3%

Serious damage or injury by tenant to another occupant/s

1

0.7%

The premises have been abandoned

2

1.3%

The premises have been destroyed, are uninhabitable, unusable or have been repossessed

3

2.0%

Use of the premises for illegal purposes

1

0.7%

No response

5

3.3%

Total

151

100.0%

Table 4: Other

Survey response option – why the tenancy ended

Number

Percent of other terminations

Mortgagee repossession orders were issued by the Supreme Court

7

0.6%

The landlord and tenant agreed to end the tenancy and no notice was served

990

80.8%

The tenant abandoned the premises

115

9.4%

No response

113

9.2%

Total

1225

100.0%

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