SAMPLE LETTER

Lockout in share housing

You can use this letter when you live as a subtenant in share housing and your head tenant, or the landlord, has changed the locks preventing you from accessing your home. 

Cut and paste the template letter below or download a copy from the link above. Remember to substitute your details for the details contained in [square brackets].

[Your name and address]

[Date]

[Head-tenant’s/owner’s name and address]

Dear …

Re: Locked out of premises at [your address]

I have just returned to the above premises to find that you have stopped me from entering by changing locks on the exterior doors.

I am a sub-tenant covered under the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

I have sought advice from the [name of Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service]. It is an offence under section 120(1) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 to recover possession of residential premises unless you have an order of a court or the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Locking out a tenant is illegal. A landlord who does so, and any person assisting them, faces a penalty of up to $22,000. Under section 190 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal may also order a landlord to pay compensation to a dispossessed tenant.

Unless I am notified on [phone number] that the keys will be available by 5pm today, I will be applying to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an urgent hearing for orders that a copy of the key [and/or any other opening device/s] be given to me to enable access to the premises.

I put you on notice that if any of my possessions have been interfered with or damaged, I will be applying to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for compensation.

I trust that this matter can be resolved without my having to initiate legal action.

Yours sincerely

[T Tenant]