Ending a Lease

Moving out of a rental property can be complicated if you are breaking a lease.

Ending a lease can be complicated. It depends on the time remaining on the lease, the number of tenants, and whether the landlord is happy to terminate the lease early. Usually ending a lease early involves some extra costs for the tenant.

If leasing with friends and you wish to leave early, you may be responsible for finding a replacement tenant. You should seek permission from your landlord before doing this. Your name will usually remain on the lease until its end date. (For more information, see information on subletting).

If the landlord is in breach of conditions of the lease, then you as a tenant may be able to terminate the lease early by following the procedure outlined in the lease. If you are considering this, you should seek legal advice first.

Differences between states

Northern Territory

If you have queries on terminating a lease early, or you think your landlord may be in breach of conditions of your lease, you should seek advice from the Central Australian Women’s Legal Service on 1800 684 055 or the Tenants Advice Service on 1800 812 953.

If you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander you may also wish to contact the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service on 1800 636 079.

ACT

If you have queries on terminating a lease early, or you think your landlord may be in breach of conditions of your lease, you should seek advice from the Tenants Union ACT Advice Service.

Western Australia

You should seek advice from Tenancy WA on 08 9221 0088 (metropolitan) or country callers 1800 621 888.

NSW

For useful information and advice on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant you can contact the Tenants NSW website.

Victoria

There are special provisions for changing or ending a lease if there is a final family violence intervention order in place. For information about changing or ending a lease check out the links below:

For legal advice and information you can contact:

South Australia

If you want to leave a fixed term tenancy before the end date, speak to your landlord. You may be liable for costs associated with re letting the property, as well as for any loss of rent.

A landlord can only end your fixed term lease agreement early without negotiating it with you first if you haven’t complied with the conditions set out in the lease agreement – eg. not paying rent. This is also referred to as breaching the lease agreement. Either you or your landlord must give at least 28 days written notice to end a tenancy when the fixed term lease agreement has expired. If notice is not given by either party the lease agreement will continue as a periodic lease agreement.

Tasmania

If you have queries on terminating a lease early, or you think your landlord may be in breach of conditions of your lease, you should seek advice from Women’s Legal Service Tasmania or the Tenants Union.

Queensland

A lease can also be terminated in cases of extreme hardship, as determined by Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Contact the Residential Tenancies Authority or the Department of Housing if you require any additional information on these points.