Ending a tenancy agreement
A tenancy agreement is a legally binding agreement that can only be ended in certain ways.
An agreement may end:
- when a fixed term has ended (correct notice has been given)
- during a periodic agreement (correct notice has been given)
- if the property manager/owner and tenant mutually agree in writing to end a fixed term
- there is a serious unremedied breach (e.g. for unpaid rent, damage to the property, illegal use of property, property owner fails to maintain property)
- a serious breach of the agreement occurs in the same way more than twice in one year (QCAT order)
- the tenant has not complied with a QCAT order
- the tenant has abandoned the property
- the property is to be sold (and the tenant is on a periodic agreement)
- a mortgagee is in possession of the property
- sole tenant dies, or
- QCAT order ends the agreement (e.g. for excessive hardship)
The person ending the agreement must use the correct form and comply with the appropriate notice period.
Tenant: Notice of intention to leave (Form 13) or Notice of intention to leave (Form R13) for rooming accommodation
Property manager/owner: Notice to leave (Form 12) or Notice to leave (Form R12) for rooming accommodation
Ending the agreement early
A tenancy agreement is a legally binding agreement. If it is broken, compensation may need to be paid.
If a tenant or property manager/owner ends a fixed term agreement before the end date without grounds (i.e. without sufficient reason) they are breaking the agreement. This is also known as breaking the lease.
A tenant cannot be made to leave the property during a fixed term agreement without an order from QCAT (e.g. excessive hardship).
However, should the tenant agree to the property manager/owner’s request to leave early, they may negotiate a compensation payment (e.g. moving costs). Any agreement should be put in writing.
Leaving the property
The tenant must leave the property in the same condition as when they moved in (except for fair wear and tear). All the keys must be returned (even extra keys the tenant had cut).
The Exit condition report (Form 14a) and Refund of rental bond (Form 4) should also be completed.