What do I do if I want to move out of the property?

If you are a tenant with a fixed-term lease (e.g 12 month lease) or periodic lease (month-to-month, rolling) and you wish to move out of the property you are required to give your landlord written notice in advance notifying them of your intention to leave. 

Some states require you to use a specific form while others only require that the notice is given in written form such as a letter or email.

How much notice do you need to give the landlord?

End of fixed term lease

If your fixed term lease (e.g 12 month lease) is coming to an end and you want to let your landlord know you want to move out of the property you need to give them written notice before the lease ends. The number of days notice required, depends on the state. 

VIC       28 days  
NSW     14 days 
QLD      14 days
WA        30 days
NT         14 days
TAS       no notice required 
ACT       21 days

Periodic tenancy (month-to-month)

If you are in a periodic tenancy, sometimes referred to as a month-to-month or a rolling tenancy, it means there is no fixed end date. A fixed term lease will automatically roll into a periodic tenancy after the lease end date if the tenant or landlord don't give notice to end the tenancy. 

VIC     28 days
NSW   21 days 
QLD    14 days
WA     21 days
NT      14 days
TAS    14 days
ACT   21 days

During a fixed term lease - breaking the lease

If you have a fixed term lease you actually can't just give notice midway through to leave the property. 

A lease is a legally binding document for both landlord and tenant and is designed to protect both parties from sudden loss of residence or income.

If you do decide to vacate during a lease this is considered 'breaking the lease' and unless otherwise agreed with the landlord you are legally required to cover costs involved such as re-advertising fees, re-letting fees, and paying rent until a new tenant moves in. 

In most cases you're allowed to look for a suitable replacement yourself to avoid a re-advertising fee, however, any interested parties would need to complete a full application form providing evidence of their suitability (proof of income and references) to be valid applicants. A landlord may still decide to re-advertise to find a replacement they deem suitable, in which case, you would still be responsible for covering this cost.

Refusal to pay associated fees can result in the costs being claimed from your bond or the landlord may take you to tribunal to get an order for you to make the payment.

The best thing you can do is talk to your landlord as early as possible to ensure there is plenty of time and you can come to the best arrangement for all parties!