Is it lawful the use of the land has been taken from tenants?

Shannon maximus asks:
(updated on Monday, April 04th 2022)

We rent a property with a large back yard that has council consent to subdivide we have noticed contractors down our drive surveying land when approached they advised they were sent by the home owner to quote on a retaining wall to commence construction of a house next month. property manager has confirmed land was subdivided during our active tenancy agreement. Is this lawful considering the use of the land has now been taken from us and construction poses to impeded on our quite enjoyment?

Our Experts Answer:

I don’t believe that your landlord has breached the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) by subdividing the property during your tenancy.  This just normally involves lawyers and the council once the surveying of the property has been completed.  If your lease includes the land the property owner intends subdividing and building on, then one would expect that this will have a substantial impact on you.  Not only will your quiet enjoyment of the property be impacted (which would probably amount to a breach of section 38 of the RTA) but you could also argue that your overall tenancy has been, or will be, impacted by you no longer having access and enjoyment of the area to be built on.  My advice would be to firstly consider what the overall impact on your tenancy is likely to be.  If you decide that you are not prepared to give up the access and use of the land to be subdivided then tell your Property Manager that.  You may decide that you can ‘give up’ access to the land in which case you would almost certainly be entitled so some kind of rent relief for both the loss of the land and the impact any building on the site might have.

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