Section 154 Crimes Act | Stealing by Tenant


If you have rented or occupy a house or building, you are obliged to leave all furniture and fixtures which you do not own behind when you leave the property.

If you take any furniture or fixtures without the consent of the owner, you could be charged under section 154 of the Crimes Act.

This section essentially states that you can be charged with stealing, or larceny, in these circumstances.

You can still be charged under this section even if your name is not on the lease or contract.

Larceny carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.

While this is evidently a lengthy penalty, it will only apply in the most serious cases.

Our criminal law specialists have considerable experience winning complex larceny cases and can assist you in avoiding these harsh penalties.

The Legislation

Section 154 of the Crimes Act deals with the offence of “stealing by tenant” and reads as follows:

154 Tenants etc stealing articles let to hire

Whosoever, being the tenant, or occupier, of any house, building, or lodging, steals any chattel, or fixture let to be used therewith, whether the contract was entered into by the accused, or by any person on his or her behalf, shall be liable to be punished as for larceny.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being charged with a larceny offence can turn your world upside down, and the prospect of facing court can be extremely daunting.

However, our expert lawyers are here to help and will assist you from start to finish in obtaining an excellent result in your larceny matter.

As a firm that specialises in criminal law, our lawyers have extensive experience dealing with larceny and stealing matters, including “larceny by tenants.”

We can assist you in having the matter resolved at an early stage by carefully examining all the evidence in order to find problems with the prosecution case, and writing to police asking to have the charges dropped on this basis.

Should your matter proceed to court, we will fight hard to protect your rights and interests by raising all favourable evidence and carefully examining all relevant witnesses.

We will also push to have the matter heard in the Local Court, where the penalties are less onerous.

Our lawyers will also advise you of any defences that you may be able to raise – for example, where you honestly and reasonably believed that you were entitled to the property in question.

Should you wish to plead guilty, we can help you achieve a lenient outcome by presenting your case in the most positive light and making persuasive arguments in order to secure a lesser penalty.

In many larceny cases, we have been able to obtain ‘section 10s’ for our clients – where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record – leaving you free to get on with your life as soon as possible.

Don’t waste time with inexperienced junior lawyers – get Sydney’s best criminal defence team on your side. Call us on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference with our experts today.