You can use this sample letter when the landlord has:

  • changed the locks, or taken some other action, to prevent you from entering the premises and,
  • they have not obtained orders from the Tribunal and a warrant for the Sheriff to assist them to evict you. 

Copy 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]


[Landlord’s or agent’s name and address]

Dear …

Re: Lockout at [your address]

You have entered and changed the locks on the doors to stop me from re‑entering the above premises.

I demand that you immediately provide me with new keys so that I can re‑enter the premises.

I have sought advice from the [name of Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service].

Locking out a tenant is illegal. It is an offence under section 120(1) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 to recover possession of residential premises unless you have a warrant issued by a court or the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. A landlord who does so, as well as any person assisting them, faces a penalty of up to $22,000.

In addition, under section 187(1)(d) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal may order that the landlord 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. I will ask the tribunal to make an order that a copy of the keys be given to me to enable access to the premises.

I will also consider lodging a complaint with NSW Fair Trading asking that they investigate and prosecute in relation to the alleged breach of the Act.

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

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

Yours sincerely

[T Tenant]