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Moving out


Ending a residential tenancy agreement


When a fixed term tenancy agreement ends


A fixed term tenancy agreement has a specific expiry date when the agreement ends and a tenant is required to leave the premises.  Usually when the expiry date is reached and:


  • the tenant leaves; or 
  • the property owner serves a Notice to Vacate asking the tenant to leave (the owner may serve the notice within 28 days of the expiry date; or
  • the tenant and property owner agree in writing to extend the agreement for a new fixed period
    • they have up to 28 days after the expiry date to do so; or
  • the tenant serves a Notice to Terminate
    • they have up to 28 days after the expiry date to do so.
  • If, after 28 days of the expiry date, no new agreement has been made and the tenant and property owner have not served notices, the tenancy agreement changes to an agreement of no fixed term.


Ending an agreement of no-fixed term


A no-fixed term tenancy agreement can end if:


  • the tenant or property owner agree to end the agreement
  • the tenant gives the property owner at least 14 days notice that they wish to end the agreement and move out
  • the property owner gives the tenant at least 14 days notice because the tenant is in breach of the agreement
  • the property owner gives the tenant at least 28 days notice that the property is to be:
    • sold
    • renovated
    • used for another purpose
  • a magistrate orders the tenancy agreement to be terminated.


Foreclosure by a bank


If there is a current tenancy agreement (fixed and no-fixed term) and the bank forecloses on the property, the tenant must be given 28 days notice to vacate by whoever is managing the property at the time of the foreclosure.


Sale of property


A property owner who sells a property that has a current fixed term tenancy agreement in place must sell it with the existing agreement and tenants.  The tenant and property owner can negotiate to end the current agreement early at no cost to the tenant.  If the tenant and property owner cannot reach an agreement to end the current agreement early, the lease remains for the terms stated on that agreement.


If there is a current no-fixed term tenancy agreement and the property owner sells the premises the owner must give the tenant 28 days notice to vacate.


When a tenant moves out


Tenants must pay rent for any days they occupy the property. If they do not return the keys they will also be responsible for the cost of re-keying or replacing locks.

Before moving out tenants should review the condition report and make sure the property is left in the same condition apart from fair wear and tear. The tenancy agreement may also require professional carpet cleaning. A receipt will need to be provided for this. 

For more information on specific issues such as carpet and general cleaning see the renting A-Z.