Ending an agreement early (breaking a lease)

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 tenancy agreement is a legally binding agreement. If it is broken, compensation will probably need to be paid.

Compensation

Money may be owed to the property manager/owner as a result of breaking the lease. This is considered compensation.

Example: the loss of rent until the property is re-let or until the end of the tenancy agreement.

The tenant may also have to pay reasonable re-letting and advertising costs.

Any compensation, or payment options for the amount, should be discussed between the tenant and the property manager/owner (this could include how the bond is to be paid out).

The property manager/owner must mitigate any loss associated with breaking the lease.

Excessive hardship

If the tenant or property manager/owner is experiencing excessive hardship (e.g. serious financial or health issues) they may make an urgent application to QCAT for an order terminating the agreement. However, QCAT may also order compensation to be paid even if the agreement is terminated.

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