• What happens if I want to break my lease before the time is up?

    How do I break a periodic lease?

    If you have a periodic lease then all you need to do is provide 21 days’ notice in writing to your property manager or landlord. Your lease will then end in 21 days.

    If doing this by post, it’s best to add a couple of days extra. So you might, for example, give 23 days' notice just to be sure and for courtesy.

    If providing this notice by email, it’s recommended you follow up and confirm it has been received.

    How do I break a fixed-term lease?

    A fixed-term lease is more complicated as there is no automatic right of termination. To break a fixed-term lease you would initially seek the owner’s permission (via property manager if your accommodation is professionally managed).

    Usually the owner will agree to a termination at a point in time when an alternative tenant commences a new lease. In other words, the owner is looking for a smooth swap with minimum fuss and no cost.

    If the property owner is confident you are able to move out and new tenants are able to promptly move in, then they might agree to a no fuss, no cost, break-lease. However, they are under no obligation to do this.

    The Residential Tenancy Agreement is a legal contract and the owner is entitled to ensure their financial position is no worse off as a result of a tenant breaking their tenancy agreement. The owner is entitled to claim compensation for any financial loss incurred as a direct result of the breach.

    If you are thinking of breaking a fixed-term lease it is best to only do so if you have compelling reasons and have factored-in the possible cost of that decision.
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