A tenancy agreement may end for many reasons. Obligations for tenants and property owners are different depending on the reason why the agreement is ending early. Also if the agreement is for a fixed or non-fixed term.
When a property owner wants a tenant to move out, they must serve a Notice to Vacate asking the tenant to deliver vacant possession of the property. NOTE: A Notice to Vacate is not required if the premises has been abandoned or where a magistrate has issued an Order of Termination.
A property owner can issue a Notice to Vacate if:
14 clear days notice must be given if a Notice to Vacate is issued because the tenant has:
"clear days" means the day the notice is served is counted as day 1 and the date of effect is day 16. If the date is miscalculated or entered incorrectly, the Act specifies when the notice is to take effect
42 clear days notice must be given if the Notice to Vacate is issued because:
60 clear days notice must be given if the notice to vacate is issued because:
More information is available at Magistrates Court of Tasmania - Notice to Vacate.
If the agreement is fixed term, there is no provision for an owner to end the agreement due to the property being for sale/selling.
A Notice to Terminate (pdf, 98.1 KB) an agreement may be given by a tenant to the owner for any of the following reasons:
14 days notice is required to end a fixed term and non-fixed term agreement.
A tenant must terminate the agreement in the correct manner (see below).
If the tenant wishes to end a fixed term agreement for personal reasons they must talk with the owner. Reasons can be the tenant can no longer afford the rent; finds a better property; moves for work. The owner may agree for them to leave on a specified date.
The property owner:
See Re-letting a Property for information on what a property owner can claim from the bond when tenants move out early and a valid Notice to Terminate has not been issued.
A tenant may wish to end the agreement if a property owner fails to meet their obligations. For example the property owner fails to maintain the property. The tenant must first issue the owner with a Notice for Repair. This allows an owner 28 days to undertake the repair. If the owner fails to undertake the repair within the required timeframe the tenant can end the agreement with a Notice to Terminate (pdf, 98.1 KB).
The Notice to Terminate must include the:
A tenant is liable for rent until the date of effect of the notice and must still leave the property as it was at the beginning of the lease.
At least 2 days notice must be given if the Notice to Terminate is for boarding premises.
When a tenant breaks a lease early, an owner can claim for the professional third party costs incurred in reletting the property. An example of this is advertising. Appropriate evidence will need to be provided. Also the length of time remaining on the lease will be considered.
An owner cannot claim for their own time spent reletting the property as it is not an actual financial loss. Also an owner cannot claim for the cost of their agent to relet the property as this is not considered to be a cost directly related to a tenant's obligations under the Act. Rather, it is an owner's choice to have the property professionally managed. Break lease fees are also in contravention of Section 17 of the Act.
An abandoned property is where:
A property is not abandoned if rent is still being paid for the property.
A property owner may take possession of a property if they reasonably believe it to be abandoned. However a property owner could be in breach of the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 if they take possession and the property is not abandoned. For example the tenant is in rent arrears and on holiday but intending to return.
A property owner may apply to the Magistrates Court of Tasmania for an order declaring the property abandoned.
When a tenant leaves a property at the end of a lease agreement and leaves goods behind, the property owner may do the following: