Ending a tenancy

To end your tenancy you will need to give written notice to the landlord, agent or tenant. The notice period required is different depending on the situation.

Tenant ending a tenancy

At the end of the fixed term

If you want to end your tenancy when the fixed term period is ending, you need to give at least 14 days' notice. This notice can be given up to and including the last day of the fixed term.

After the fixed term

If you want to end your tenancy after the fixed term has ended, and you have not signed another agreement, you need to give at least 21 days' notice. This notice can be given at any time and does not have to line up with the rent payment cycle. You must pay the rent up to and including the day your notice ends and you vacate.

When a property is put up for sale

If your landlord notifies you of their intention to sell the property during the fixed term of your tenancy, you can end your agreement by giving at least 14 days’ notice. No penalty applies.

This does not apply if before you entered into the tenancy agreement, your landlord let you know a contract for sale was being prepared.

Getting notice from the landlord

If your landlord serves you with a termination notice, you can move out any time before the notice ends. If you were given notice because of the end of the fixed term, you are responsible for paying the rent until the last day of the lease. Otherwise no further rent is payable from the day you leave.

Landlord ending a tenancy

If you want the tenant to vacate you must give them a termination notice. The notice must:

  • be in writing
  • be signed and dated by you or your agent
  • be properly addressed to the tenant
  • give the day on which the residential tenancy agreement is terminated and by which the tenant is required to vacate
  • where appropriate, give the grounds/reason for the notice.

You can write your own notice or use the model termination notice provided by Fair Trading.

The minimum period of notice you can give the tenant to vacate is:

  • 14 days – if the tenant is 14 days or more behind with the rent or has committed some other breach of the tenancy agreement
  • 30 days – if the fixed term of the agreement is due to end
  • 30 days – if the premises have been sold after the fixed term has ended and vacant possession is required by the buyer under the terms of the sale contract
  • 90 days – if the fixed term period has expired and no new agreement has been signed.

These notice periods are designed to give tenants reasonable time to find another rental property. If they can find a property sooner they can move out at any time without having to give you any formal notice. Except where notice has been given for the end of the fixed term, the tenant's responsibility to pay rent ends from the date they hand back possession, not the end of the notice.

There is no minimum notice period required if notice is given on the grounds of:

  • the premises being destroyed or wholly or partly uninhabitable
  • ceasing to be legally usable as a residence
  • being acquired by compulsory process (eg. by the RTA)
  • on the death of the sole tenant.

After you issue a notice you can issue another notice on a different ground if necessary. For example, if you issue 90 days notice to terminate a periodic tenancy without a reason, and the tenant then doesn't pay rent for 14 days, you can issue a non-payment of rent notice.

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