Rental law changes introducing minimum housing standards will come into effect for new tenancies from 1 September 2023, and for all tenancies from 1 September 2024.
A tenancy agreement is a legally binding agreement that can only be ended in certain ways.
Ways an agreement may end include, but are not limited to:
- when a fixed term has ended (provided correct notice has been given)
- during a periodic agreement (provided correct notice has been given)
- if the property manager/owner and tenant mutually agree in writing to end the agreement
- if there is a serious unremedied breach (e.g. for un paid rent, damage to the property, illegal use of property, property owner fails to maintain property)
- if a serious breach of the agreement occurs in the same way more than twice in one year (QCAT order)
- if the tenant has not complied with a QCAT order
- if the property manager/owner fails to comply with a repair order
- if the tenant has abandoned the property
- if the property is not in good repair
- if the property is to be sold (and the tenant is on a periodic agreement)
- if the owner wants to move into the property
- if the property requires significant repairs, renovations, is subject to demolition or redevelopment plans
- if a mortgagee is in possession of the property
- if the sole tenant dies
- if a co-tenant dies, or
- if a QCAT order ends the agreement (e.g. for excessive hardship).
If you are extending your tenancy or your tenancy is changing to periodic tenancy at the same property, please update your new tenancy agreement end date via RTA Web Services.
For further information and other ways in which a tenancy agreement may end, refer to the Ending a tenancy agreement for managing parties fact sheet and the Ending a tenancy agreement for tenants/residents fact sheet.
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 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).
Parties can agree to end the tenancy earlier but it must be agreed in writing. 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.
At the end of a tenancy agreement, the tenancy can be ended, or it can continue as either a fixed term or periodic agreement.
If you are ending your tenancy and leaving the rental property, we’ve outlined some important steps to follow when moving out, updating your details with the RTA and getting your bond back.
Either you or your property manager/owner has issued/received a notice in writing to end the tenancy. Check the day/date you need to hand the keys over. Contact your property manager/owner early if there are any concerns.
If you are extending your tenancy or going onto a periodic tenancy at the same property, please update your new tenancy agreement end date via RTA Web Services.
As a tenant, you have responsibilities at the end of a tenancy including returning the rental property in the same condition it was at the start less fair wear and tear. Remember that damages caused by an approved pet are not considered fair wear and tear and are the responsibility of the tenant. Evidence such as your entry condition report and photos are important to avoid any disputes at the end about the property condition. Take the time to plan your move to get everything right, have a checklist, clean, complete your exit condition report and get your bond back quickly.
Important: You, or your property manager/owner cannot apply for a refund of rental bond until the date of the end of tenancy or hand-over date has occurred. Penalties may apply for providing false and misleading information.
It is essential that you update your details with the RTA, including your forwarding address, contact details and bank account when you leave the rental property. Bonds are refunded into Australian bank accounts.
The quickest and easiest way to get a bond refund is for all tenant/s listed as bond contributors and the property manager/owner to reach an agreement about how the bond is to be paid out.