What Notice to Give When ending a Tenancy in Australia

Find out everything you need to know about ending or terminating a tenancy and the required notice periods.

Everything you need to know about ending a tenancy in Australia including notice periods and conditions.

Whether you’re ending your lease because it has come to the end of its term period or if you need to terminate it earlier than expected - understanding when and how a tenancy ends is important. 

What does 'ending' or 'terminating' a tenancy involve?

You must understand your obligations when ending a tenancy agreement so that you can ensure that the process goes smoothly and you're doing things the right way. Ending or terminating a tenancy in Australia involves adhering to the legislation and regulations set by each state or territory.

The first step in ending the tenancy is to serve written notice to the tenant. The amount of notice required will depend on the length of time they have been renting, as well as the type of rental agreement that was signed and the state or territory your property is in.

Generally speaking, any agreement with a fixed end date will require 60 days' notice, while agreements without an end date may require 90 days' notice. These timelines vary depending on the state or territory in which your property is in.

The guidelines by state or territory

When ending a tenancy, it is important to know the different rules and laws that apply in each state and territory. While some of the protocols for terminating a tenancy are similar between states, some differences must be considered when navigating the process.

See the links below to access the relevant information for each Australian state:

  • NSW
  • QLD
  • VIC
  • TAS
  • WA
  • ACT
  • NT

What are the main reasons to end a tenancy?

There are many reasons you may want to end a tenancy, but the two most common reasons are:

  • The Fixed-term lease is coming to an end. When a fixed-term agreement is coming to an end, you must provide your tenants with notice if you wish for them to vacate. The notice period depends on your state but usually, it's at least 30 days.

  • The tenancy is in a periodic arrangement and notice has been given. You can typically end a periodic term tenancy at any point as long as you provide the tenant with at least 14 days notice in writing. This gives the tenant enough time to find alternative accommodation and move out. Tenants can also end this type of agreement by giving the landlord notice.

Find out the steps you need to take when a tenancy ends in our End of Tenancy Guide for Property Owners.

What are some other reasons you or your tenant can end a tenancy? 

  • By mutual agreement. Ending a tenancy by mutual agreement with your tenant can be relatively straightforward provided both parties are open to communication and willing to understand each other's needs. 
  • Tenant breaking a lease.  If a tenant wishes to break their lease, it is important that the correct notice is given as per the lease agreement. The tenant may be liable to pay a break lease fee or pay advertising costs until a new tenant is found. Conditions depend on what is written in the Lease Agreement and the state your property is in. Find more info here.
  • Breach of the tenancy. If a tenant breaches the terms of their tenancy agreement such as for non-payment of rent, there may be cause to end the tenancy. In most cases, this will involve issuing a notice to vacate to the tenant and requiring them to move out of the property within a given period. 
  • Tenant abandonment. In Australia, abandonment is defined as when a tenant vacates the premises without providing reasonable notice or paying any rent for at least 14 days. This means that if your tenant has left without telling you or paying rent for a few weeks or more, then they are considered as having abandoned the property. In most states and territories, if a tenant abandons their rental agreement without providing proper notice or paying rent they are still responsible for any damages that have occurred during their tenancy.
  • Death of tenant. In the unfortunate circumstance where a tenant passes away, it is important to remember that, generally, their tenancy does not automatically end. You must take steps to end the tenancy for it to cease formally. This process is governed by state and territory legislation so will vary.
  • Selling your property. If you've sold your rental property, the tenancy agreement will usually continue regardless of the sale until the agreement ends.The tenant is entitled to receive notice of the sale, usually at least two months before the tenancy officially ends. This gives them time to make alternative accommodation arrangements without pressure or undue inconvenience. The rules depend on the type of tenancy agreement in place - e.g. fixed-term vs periodic and the state the property is based in.
  • Hardship to landlord. You can end a tenancy if you can demonstrate that you would otherwise suffer undue hardship. To successfully end a tenancy due to hardship, you must demonstrate that their situation has been caused by circumstances beyond their control and that there are no reasonable alternatives available that would mitigate your suffering. 
  • Due to Family violence. When a tenant requires protection from family violence that threatens their occupancy of a rental property, you must respond promptly. Tenants may wish to end their lease at any time if they feel unsafe in their environment due to threats of family violence. You should provide understanding and support for this decision and must ensure that tenants are safe during this process.

RentBetter Can Help You Manage Your Lease

Using RentBetter to set up and create your lease is the perfect way to confidently manage your tenancy and property. 

Creating a lease agreement with RentBetter is straightforward and simple:

  • Create an account and enter your property's address, contact details, and other relevant information. 
  • Once all of this information is entered, you'll have access to an intuitive interface through which you can easily customise your lease agreement.
  • Include specific rules or requirements, as well as rent amounts, rental periods, deposits required from tenants, etc. All of this information can be tweaked and modified at any time as needed.
  • Once you have completed these steps, you can save your document for review and invite your tenants to review and sign it electronically.

With RentBetter, you can quickly and easily create a lease agreement that will last throughout your tenant's residency. Plus, you’ll be able to stay organised with automated reminders that will prompt you if anything needs to be actioned throughout the tenancy. 

See RentBetter in action - Learn how the RentBetter platform can help you self-manage your rental property. Register below to watch the demo video.