Ending a tenancy: What you need to know
There’s plenty of reasons why tenants need to move, and we know there’s plenty to think about – ending leases, arranging bond refunds and hiring trailers, all amongst sorting a new home! Tenancy agreements can be confusing, but it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities so you know exactly what you can expect when it comes to moving time. We’ve laid out the most important facts.
If you have a fixed-term tenancy
The landlord or tenant can’t give notice to end a fixed-term tenancy early, but there are a few options available if either party wants to end the party!
Mutual agreement to end tenancy early
Tenancies can be changed if all the tenants and the landlord mutually agree. So if a tenant wants to end the fixed-term early, you can approach your landlord to see if they’ll agree. Any agreement should be in writing.
The landlord has the right to charge an early exit fee – but these should be reasonable and actual costs (eg. Cost to advertise for new tenants)
Transfer or sublet property
If a tenant wants to find someone to replace them in the tenancy, this is known as ‘assignment’. The new tenant takes over all the responsibilities under the tenancy agreement. You can’t assign your tenancy if your tenancy agreement has a clause which forbids you to do so.
- The landlord and tenants must all agree
- The landlord can find a replacement for the tenant themselves, if they wish, but they aren’t obliged to
- Assignment must be in writing
- The original tenant must pay what they owe
If you have an periodic tenancy
If you’re in a periodic tenancy, you can give notice to end the tenancy.
- A tenant needs to give at least 21 days written notice to end the tenancy, unless the landlord agrees to a shorter time.
- A landlord needs to give at least 90 days written notice to end the tenancy, but can give as little as 42 days notice in certain circumstances.
If there’s multiple tenants named on the agreement, the landlord can take that notice as ending the tenancy for all. If other tenants want to stay they should contact the landlord and reach an agreement for the tenancy to continue.
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