Ending a residential tenancy agreement
| Tenant's Tips to Remember || Owner's Tips to Remember |
- Never sign a blank form
- Keep your details updated with the Rental Deposit Authority (RDA)
- Return the property in the same condition as it was when your lease started. Use your ingoing Condition Report to make sure the property is clean - dust skirting boards, light fittings and blinds; clean window tracks and heater filters / fire box; have carpets cleaned by a preferred cleaner (keep receipts); mow and weed lawns and gardens; and ensure no there is no damage to the property.
- Make sure your rent is paid up to date
- Hand your keys in on time
- Meet with the agent/owner about any issues before your lease ends
- Take photos
- Lodge your own claim form if you don't receive one from the owner within a reasonable period of time
- Meet with the tenant/s prior to the end of the lease regarding the vacation date, return of keys, cleaning and any other issues
- Do a final inspection as soon as the tenant/s vacate
- Complete an outgoing Condition Report
- Raise any issues with the tenant/s immediately
- Give a bond form to the tenant/s within 3 working days
- If making a claim, make sure the tenant is provided with a list of reasons for the claim
- Take photos of any cleanliness / damage issues
- If you can't resolve any issues with the tenant/s, get professional service providers and keep copies of the invoices
When a fixed term tenancy agreement ends
A fixed term tenancy agreement has a specific expiry date when the agreement ends and a tenant is required to leave the premises. Usually when the expiry date is reached:
- the tenant moves out of the property; or
- the property owner serves a Notice to Vacate asking the tenant to leave (the owner is required to give 42 days notice of the expiry date); or
- the tenant and property owner agree in writing to extend the agreement for a new fixed period.
A lease agreement changes to an agreement of no-fixed term if:
- the tenant continues to live in the property on or after the expiry date; and
- a new agreement has not been signed; or
- notices have not been served.
Ending an agreement of no-fixed term
A no-fixed term tenancy agreement can end if:
- the tenant and the property owner agree to end the agreement;
- the tenant gives the property owner at least 14 days notice that they wish to end the agreement and move out;
- the property owner gives the tenant at least 14 days notice because the tenant is in breach of the agreement;
- the property owner gives the tenant at least 42 days notice that the property is to be:
- used for another purpose (eg, the owner is going to live in the property);
- used as residence by a member of the owner's family;
- a magistrate orders the tenancy agreement to be terminated.
Foreclosure by a bank
When a bank forecloses on a property, and there is a current tenancy agreement in place (fixed term and no-fixed term), the tenant must be given 60 days notice to vacate by whoever is managing the property at the time of the foreclosure.
Sale of property
A property owner, who sells a property that has a current fixed term tenancy agreement in place, must sell it with the existing agreement and tenants. The tenant and property owner can negotiate to end the current agreement early at no cost to the tenant. If the tenant and property owner cannot reach an agreement to end the current agreement early, the lease remains for the terms stated on that agreement.
A property owner, who sells a property that has a current no-fixed term tenancy agreement in place, must give the tenant 42 days notice to vacate.
When a tenant moves out
Tenants must pay rent for any days they occupy the property. If keys are not returned, a tenant is responsible for the cost of re-keying or replacing locks.
Before moving out, tenants should review the condition report (that was completed at the beginning of the tenancy) and compare it with the current condition of the property. Tenants should make sure the property is left in the original condition apart from fair wear and tear. The tenancy agreement may also require professional carpet cleaning. A receipt will need to be provided for this.
For more information on specific issues such as carpet and general cleaning see the renting A-Z.
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