A lock out happens when the landlord, real estate agent or one of your flatmates tries to get you out of the place you are renting without the proper authority. They may:

  • change the locks, so you can't get into the place you’re renting
  • cut off the power
  • throw all your stuff out.

A lock out is illegal if it hasn't gone through the proper legal processes and the landlord or agent can be fined. To be legal, the lock out must be authorised by a possession order that is issued by the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT).

What to do if you are locked out:

  • Contact Consumer Affairs (1800 019 319 toll free).
  • If the lock out happens during a weekend, ring the Police and ask them for help.
  • If it looks like the landlord will lock you out, don’t leave any of your valuable possessions in the premises. You shouldn't remove all of your possessions, as the landlord may argue that you moved out voluntarily.
  • If you need to stay somewhere else, keep the receipts, as you may be able to get reimbursed for your expenses.