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Ending a tenancy: a guide to moving out

Moving

Posted on 11 Jul 2017

Before you tell your landlord “it’s over” and close the door on renting, it’s best to make sure that door isn’t going to swing back and hit you from behind.

You have both rights and obligations when it comes to renting and missing an important step could have a nasty sting in the tail when you’re ready to move into your new home.

Here’s a handy checklist:

Know your rights

Depending on the type of tenancy agreement you have (eg, verbal, fixed term or periodic), there are specific ways you can end a tenancy. As different residential tenancy legislation applies to each state or territory, check the Consumer Affairs website in your state or territory in advance. It’s useful knowledge to have in your back pocket.

Give notice

Check the notice periods required to give in your tenancy agreement and those outlined by your state or territory’s tenancy act. If you don’t give notice correctly, you may have to keep paying rent even after you move out – which could last until the relevant notice period expires or a new tenant moves in (whichever happens first).

Smooth out sharing

If you are sharing a home with someone but your name is not on the lease, you are still considered a sub-tenant and you need to give the main tenant proper notice. If both names are on the lease, you are co-tenants and you need to follow the right procedure for ending the lease or having someone take over your part of the lease (tenant transfer).

Organise inspection

There’s paperwork to fill out when you end your lease along with a final (exit) inspection, which must be carried out before you formally vacate and hand back the keys. At the final inspection, the condition of the home will be checked and compared to the entry condition report. We recommend both you and your landlord be present. And take photos and notes if you have any disagreements.

Get your bond back

There is a formal process you need to follow to get your bond back. It can take a little time so don’t rely on the money immediately as you move out. Whether you get the whole bond back will depend on whether you met all the conditions of your lease – so make sure you know what you need to do to get your money back. That might mean paying professional cleaners to clean the property.

Moving on

So now you can officially close that "renting" door behind you, and say hello to life as a first time homebuyer! Have you thought about your finances, where you want to live, do you want to build, do you want to buy off the plan? There are a lot of things to think about, and if you have already ticked all of those boxes, that is great! If not, start reading and researching - Peet's advice blog can be a good starting point!

There are also renter rights organisations that can help you understand your rights and obligations, if you have any queries or concerns.

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