The dos and don’ts of renewing residential tenancies

When it comes to residential property management, there are definitive rules that must be followed in order to ensure landlords don’t end up facing a cantankerous residential tenancy tribunal judge!

One of the areas that can create confusion is lease renewals and termination of tenancies and exactly what rights and responsibilities both the tenant and landlord have. Even though this might seem like a straightforward process, landlords must dot all “i’s” and cross all “t’s” in order to prevent any future complications.  

The critical requirement with regard to any rental agreement is to have a thorough understanding of all clauses contained in the lease, particularly those pertaining to the initial term, vacancy date and renewal options.

Generally lease terms will either be fixed tenancies for a specified period such as 6 or 12 months, or periodic agreements which usually “roll-over” on a monthly basis. Essentially if you, the owner wish to officially renew a lease or alternatively end the tenancy for any reason, you need to put your intentions in writing to the tenant, regardless of the type of agreement both parties have entered into.

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Landlords also need to be aware of the required timeframes for notice should they wish to alter any conditions of the lease. Whether terminating or renewing the lease or increasing the rental, tenants must be given sufficient notice under the Residential Tenancies Acts that govern most states and territories.

Renewals without any increase in the going rent or changes to terms are pretty straightforward. If a property manager is looking after the property on your behalf, you simply need to advise them that you wish to renew the lease terms, usually before the tenancy ends. They will then notify the tenant, who can decide whether they wish to take up the renewal option or submit their 28 days notice to vacate the premises at the expiration of the lease.

If you intend to increase the rent but still want the current tenant to stay on, you must advise them in writing at least 60 days prior to the increase coming into affect, usually at the commencement of the new lease term. Unless you include an additional clause in the tenancy agreement that states a rent review may occur sooner, you can only seek a rent increase at the end of the lease. In cases where the lease is less than six months or periodic, you cannot seek a rental increase any more frequently than every six months.

In some states there is an official form that you must complete in order to provide the tenant with the required 60 days notice of a rent increase, and tenants have the right to seek a rental assessment from the relevant governing authority, such as the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, if they feel the increase is unfair or excessive. They must do so in writing within 30 days of receiving the notice for rent increase and it will then be up to the Tribunal as to whether or not the landlord is justified in putting up the rent.

Other clauses that you might need to consider including in a lease agreement, whether it be a renewal or the initial contract, are as follows;

  • If the property happens to be your own home and you intend to move out and lease it for a short period of time, perhaps to travel or for some other reason, you need to ensure you include a clause that states “the property is your Principal Place of Residence”. When you intend to move back into your home the tenant is to be given appropriate notice (this may differ from State to State) to vacate.
  • If the premises are considered unsuitable for children to occupy, an order must be obtained from Tribunal prior to leasing the property to comply. A clause stating such would then be written into the lease agreement and you need to attach a copy of the Tribunal Order.
  • If there is an open fireplace at the premises that is not to be used, a clause should be inserted in the lease agreement that states the “Open fireplace is for ornamental purposes only”.
  • If additional services are being provided by the landlord to the tenants, such as garden or swimming pool maintenance, the terms of these should be stipulated in the lease agreement.

So what if you have one of those tenants from Hell and decide you want to take the opportunity at the expiration of the lease to “kick them to the curb”, in order to find someone who’s more likely to look after your asset? Or perhaps you simply have plans for your premises that don’t involve tenants at all. Well again, there are certain regulations you must follow in order to cover your backside!

If the tenant is on a fixed term tenancy and their lease is coming to an end, you will be required to give them sufficient notice to vacate. The period of this notice varies from state to state, but in Victoria the notice must be in writing in line with the requirements of Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV).

If the fixed term tenancy is less than 6 months, you must give the tenant 60 days written notice on the prescribed form from CAV. If the agreement is six months plus, you must provide the tenant with 90 days written notice to vacate.

Should you decide to give your investment a little spruce up and need the tenants to move out in order for renovations to commence, or you decide to sell your property, you will need to notify the tenants, again in writing, with 60 days advance warning.

If you simply want an inadequate tenant off your premises for good, you might be pleased to know that you do have the right to issue a notice to vacate without having to provide a specific excuse. In such cases, the written notice must have provision for 120 day vacating period and stipulate that the notice is being given for “no specific reason”.

We’ve all heard the horror stories on current affairs programs about landlords doing the right thing and giving tenants adequate notice to vacate, only to have them remain in the property and force a stalemate of sorts. This is every landlord’s worst nightmare and can often leave investors feeling vulnerable and helpless. Whilst tenants do have legal recourse to dispute a notice to vacate at Tribunal and request the right to remain in the premises, they cannot simply “squat” in your property.

There is no denying that this is a difficult situation to find yourself in to say the least, but rest assured that there are steps you can take to resolve such a deadlock. If the tenant will not cooperate with the parameters of an eviction notice, application is made to the Tenancy Tribunal for possession of the property.

Once Possession has been granted, the tenant and landlord/managing agent is issued with a warrant for possession, which the agent will organise to be executed by the police in the relevant jurisdiction. The police then contact the agent to arrange a time to go to the property, see the tenants off the premises, change the locks and formally take possession.

I understand that this can pose a daunting prospect for landlords, particularly given the seemingly endless amount of bureaucratic red tape you need to cut through in order to regain what is rightfully yours. But under no circumstances should you take matters into your own hands and confront belligerent tenants. Going through the legal motions might seem frustrating, but you will see results eventually and most tenant evictions never reach such an impasse.

The important thing to understand is that you will face penalties should you decide to take the law into your own hands at any point and fail to do the right thing by your tenants according to the relevant legislation in your jurisdiction.

If you or your managing agent neglect to issue the correct notice to vacate for instance, the tenant may take you to Tribunal to claim compensation. In that case, you will have to issue a correct notice to vacate with correct time frames in place, which of course will delay the vacate process.

If you instruct your managing agent to give the required notice to vacate to your tenants and they fail to do so, you have the right to take the managing agent to Tribunal for neglecting to fulfill their obligations to you and they may be fined.

Of course the one thing all of us landlords really want is a reliable rental income without any extended vacancy periods. From this perspective, it is important when it comes to lease agreements to feel that the law not only protects the tenant but you, the landlord, as well.

In Victoria, should a tenant decide that they wish to move on, they must issue the landlord or managing agent with a 28 day written notice of their intention to vacate. If they are on a fixed term agreement and wish to vacate prior to the lease expiration, they are in effect “breaking the agreement”. In taking such action, the tenant will be liable to pay re-letting fees, advertising costs and rent up until such time as the property is re-let or their lease officially expires, whichever occurs first.

Ultimately, the law pertaining to tenancy agreements is in place to make the process of renting a property, for both the tenants and landlords, as straightforward and painless as possible. In most cases and in my own experience, I find that nine times out of ten, if you do the right thing by the tenant, they’ll do the right thing by you, and everybody wins.

NB. The above information is based on Victorian regulations. Landlords are advised to confirm the rights and responsibilities they have to the tenant within their own jurisdiction.

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Pamela Yardney

About

Pamela was a founding director of the Metropole Property Group. She co-authored the top selling book "The Australian Guide to Buying & Selling Your Home." In her articles she freely shares her years of experience as a property investor & developer and a property management expert. Visit Metropole.com.au


'The dos and don’ts of renewing residential tenancies' have 153 comments

  1. September 21, 2009 @ 4:27 pm Penny

    Good article, thank you – I want to add you should also try to insert a clasue that they pay water charges – I’ve been stung by this. And also that you should try not to see your tenants as products that “Look after your asset” – but as real people who need a home, a good that you are providing, and it can be a great relationship, if you choose a nice person from the outset.

    Reply

    • March 24, 2011 @ 10:30 am Shirin

      I am a tenant in a property with a 12 month fixed term contract. The letting Agent has contacted me halfway through my tenancy to say that they sent me an email (which I have not recieved) 2months ago to give me the option of renewing my tenancy, as I did not reply they are now conducting viewings. I have not yet decided whether I intend to stay on and renew my tenancy. Are there any rights I have to stop them renting the property to anyone else in the mean time? It seems to me a bit soon to be asking me to not only make a decision but to pay an £80 admin fee to renew.

      Reply

      • March 24, 2011 @ 3:55 pm Peter O'Brien

        Hi Shirin, I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you regarding your situation. The information you have supplied in your comment does not give me enough insight into your specific situation so I can provide you with an accurate answer specific to your situation. I also noticed that you are quoting fees in another currency. Are you located in Australia? You may contact me during business hours on (03) 9591 8888 to discuss. I look forward to speaking with you. Cheers Peter O’Brien Metropole.

        Reply

  2. November 15, 2011 @ 9:12 am Lofri

    I am a landlord and my tennants lease is up. He is refusing to sign another year and wants only a month by month basis.. As I have a mortgage on the property I need to know if I can count on him committing to the next 12 months.. The agent is telling me the tennant has every right to remain on a periodic lease… What can I do?

    Reply

    • November 15, 2011 @ 9:23 am Michael Yardney

      Lofri
      It depends in which state you live, but in general your property manager is correct.
      You can’t force the tenant to sign a new lease.
      However, with the low vacancy rates at present and rising rentals, it’s not likely your tenant will move if you keep your rents fair

      Reply

    • April 13, 2012 @ 10:09 am Angela

      You can have your agent place a notification of termination and commence looking for a new tenant who is agreeable to your terms.

      Reply

    • January 21, 2016 @ 1:50 am Trevor

      “I am a landlord and my tennants lease is up. He is refusing to sign another year and wants only a month by month basis.. As I have a mortgage on the property I need to know if I can count on him committing to the next 12 months.. The agent is telling me the tennant has every right to remain on a periodic lease… What can I do?”

      You can keep him on on a month-month basis or you can give him notification to leave (28 days I believe?) and look for a new tenant. Why hasn’t your agent told you this?

      Reply

  3. November 17, 2011 @ 2:21 pm Pam

    We are looking at purchasing a property that is rented by a large company in WA.

    The lease in place is a fixed term tenancy lease that a sneaky lawyer has drawn up for them, that was initially for a 5 year period, this is now up. This lease however has an additional clause in it that states the owner grants the tenant the option to renew the term of this agreement for successive terms of 1 year each and that unless they give notice to the owner 15 days before the expiry of the initial term or option then it will be treated that they have exercised their option…..
    Therefore making the lease for no fixed term !
    It also says that no new lease will be drawn up, and that only CPI increase can be applied to the rent….
    It dosn’t any anything however about the owner being able to give them notice … Can the current owner give them notice now that at the end of the current option the lease will not be renewed as the property has been sold with vacant possesion?

    Cheers

    Reply

    • November 17, 2011 @ 2:42 pm Michael Yardney

      In general the option to renew is with the tenant – the landlord cannot force the tenant to renew or terminate the lease is the tenant wants to take upt heir option.

      What happens if the tenant does not take up their option in time varies depending on the documentation = This is really a legal question for your solicitor who needs to read the lease

      Reply

  4. November 28, 2011 @ 11:24 am Susanna

    My husband and I are tenants of a large unit (2 others in complex) in Melbourne. We have been in this property for almost 4 months. We have been with the current RE agents for 9 years and rented the previous property for 8.5 years and are considered excellent tenants. We only left that property due to landlord selling property.

    In this current dwelling, the neighbour has complained about noise at odd hours with inconsistent descriptions and times. This has caused a great deal of anxiety and bafflement for us and the RE property manager who knows us to be class A tenants. The adjoining unit is inhabited by a very nervous elderly lady with a sick husband. We are professionals and out all day so were at a loss to what this complaint was about. We do not have visitors or animals or children at home – the noise was described as industrial/bowling balls/gushing water/whirring usually about 10.30 – 12 midnight. We bought a new washing machine, changed our washing habits to only use WM between 7.30 when we get home to 10 pm all to no avail. We have welcomed the RE property manager and plumber all looking for evidence of some kind of industrial activity – obviously nothing was found.

    We have now realised that the noises complained of are brief (less than 3 mins) vacuuming at night (I have allergies and must vacuum daily) and the normal noise of the shower and exhaust fan. We have now been assured that we have done all we can and that we should just get on with our lives (by RE property manager) and he will handle it from the office now. The problem is that we feel that we have been persecuted without any evidence (letter sent of warning and notice to evict if noise didn’t stop was the first we knew of the problem – we received a sort of apology for this) however my level of anxiety is very high and I find myself feeling creeping about feeling fearful now.

    My questions is: we have obviously been given the green light by the RE property manager (but not in writing) and I am concerned that to keep the peace when our current lease is up in 8 months time we will be asked to leave when we have done nothing that doesn’t comply (and indeed over and above – no music, no visitors, out all day,etc – we keep the place immaculate and the garden pristine) with tenancy rules and in fact feel quite traumatised by this whole business. Would we be able to challenge this if it was to happen? Or can the landlord ask use to leave regardless although we have done nothing but look after the property and then immediately rent it out again. We feel a little unsettled

    Reply

    • November 28, 2011 @ 12:22 pm Peter O'Brien

      Hi,
      You cannot choose your neighbours!

      It depends on what sort of notice to vacate the Owner send you. The only notice you maybe able to argue is a notice to vacate for no specified reason…. All other notices have an actual reason to vacate, such as Owners moving in etc….

      We dont know what sort of relationship the Owner of your property has with the next door neighbour, however if we were managing this property we would advise the neighbour to contact the police in the first instance should there be an issue with noise.

      Life is to short to live “On ice” , however who is in the position to say that your next neighbours will be “nice”!

      Good luck

      Reply

    • January 30, 2012 @ 11:33 am Peter O'Brien

      Hi,
      You cannot choose your neighbours!

      It depends on what sort of notice to vacate the Owner send you. The only notice you maybe able to argue is a notice to vacate for no specified reason…. All other notices have an actual reason to vacate, such as Owners moving in etc….

      We dont know what sort of relationship the Owner of your property has with the next door neighbour, however if we were managing this property we would advise the neighbour to contact the police in the first instance should there be an issue with noise.

      Life is to short to live “On ice” , however who is in the position to say that your next neighbours will be “nice”!

      Good luck

      Reply

  5. January 24, 2012 @ 6:20 pm Jill Hudswell

    I have a 12 month lease that is up in a month, and i have not had any notification from the letting agent on whether my lease is going to be renewed. We want to stay here. How much notice should i be getting from them about it being nenewed or not.

    Reply

    • November 28, 2011 @ 12:22 pm Peter O'Brien

      Hello Jill, A good property manager should commence negotiations and discussions concerning a new lease agreememnt about three months before your lease expiries! However, some agents may not be this organised!
      There is no time frame in which an agent/owner needs to have this conversation according to legislation, and many tenants roll onto a month to month tenancy after the intial term.
      If you want a new lease, I suggest you contact the agent direct and request one.

      Reply

    • January 21, 2016 @ 1:54 am Pierre

      You really have nothing to worry about. If you’ve heard nothing from your agent and even if your lease ends they can’t kick you out without (28 days?) notice. When your lease ends, it becomes a periodic (month to month) lease.

      Reply

  6. April 18, 2012 @ 3:56 am Jodie

    Hi Peter, LIke Jill above, my lease now ends in two weeks, I contacted the agent two weeks ago to say I would like to renew another 12 months. I have made two phone calls, and one visit recently, but still no definate whether I can. What are my rights? The landlord said she will email the owner, but said that two weeks ago. I still havent heard anything. I am losing sleep over whether I have to move myself and my two kids again. What are my rights in regards to renewal of lease.? Jodie

    Reply

    • January 21, 2016 @ 1:58 am Pierre

      Jodie when your lease expires, if a new one hasn’t been signed, your lease turns into a periodic lease (month to month). This means that if the agent/owners do want you out they still have to give you a months notice – which should give you enough time to move out. These laws exist so that you don’t have to stress over these things :)

      Reply

  7. August 2, 2012 @ 10:50 pm Chris

    Thanks Peter, your article was really informative. I just want to confirm my situation as a landlord of a property in WA. I have a private arrangement as the tenant is a friend of a friend. I’m about to renew the lease which is due to expire after 6 months on 12th August. I wrote up a new lease for 12 months to commence on the 13th August which keeps the rent at the same amount for the first two months but with a clause that states there will be an increase 60 days later. Does this suffice? The rental agreement is an official WA tenancy agreement with the relevant clauses e.g. rent won’t increase prior to 6 months and with 60 days warning. If I can’t increase this way, what action can I take to increase the rent within the term of the lease? Thanks for your help Chris

    Reply

  8. October 23, 2012 @ 9:04 am Kayleen

    If you have been on a fixed lease then the owners donet want to put you on another lease as they are deciding to sell and then 8 mnths later decide to put you on a lease how many days notice do they have to give(W.A) with a rent increase. I thought it was 60 days. Our real estate gave us lease (sent) on the 16/08/12 and new lease started 27/09/12 with a $40/wk increase. We were told as the rent increase was with new lease conditions if we didnt sign they would then have to send us letter in writing of rent increase (60 days). However they just changed rent to new amount and we havnt signed lease. We were prepared to sign lease with conditions in wirting from owner that the air conditioner was to be fixed or replaced. They prity much told us sign lease or move out. What are our right and can we take this further?

    Reply

  9. November 6, 2012 @ 7:03 pm joanne

    Hi Peter
    we signed a lease in April 2011 ( residential ) we were looking to be here for 5 yrs at the property
    The agent set the lease term as : 2 years with 2 years and option of 1 year

    it does then state commncing 15/4/11
    ending 12/4/13

    in their additional notes they state

    lease will be secured on a 2 year, 2 year and 1 year basis

    the owner has now decided to sell after we have been here just 18 months please can you advise if our second 2 years should be taken into account was the lease ever legally binding

    Kind reagrds
    Jo

    Reply

    • December 25, 2012 @ 7:26 am Michael Yardney

      Kayleen
      If the lease has been written correctly YOU have the option, but not the obligation, to stay on for a further 2 year and then 1 year period. The landlord, should not be able to shorten the leaseor make you leave. But they do have the right to increae the rent during the lease

      Reply

  10. December 25, 2012 @ 5:04 am Erin

    The lease states on a 2 year basis – so legally no, they dont have to wait to sell their property for two years because of this – This is why they didnt sign a 5 year lease for you.
    As long as they give you 60 days (As you are not on a periodic lease – which would only be I believe 21 days notice) to move – that is sufficient enough for the owners.

    Reply

  11. January 12, 2013 @ 9:06 am Misha

    My husband and I have a lease which expires at end Jan. We actually separated a cple mths ago and he moved out. After the current lease expires I want to stay on. He cannot be contacted to sign over the lease. Can I still acquire a new lease/renewal without his name anywhere on the lease? Even if he doesn’t sign over? I’ve been told I can have my renewal but his name will remain if he has not signed over. I do not want a renewal with his name on it since he no longer lives here and we’re separated. Can’t I just have a new lease solely in my name, even if he hasn’t signed over?

    Reply

    • January 12, 2013 @ 9:18 pm Michael Yardney

      Misha
      There should be no reason for your husbands name to be on the new lease, especially as he won’t be able to sign it. The real estate agent may want to make sure that you can still afford the lease on one income rather than the 2 incomes you had before

      Reply

      • January 14, 2013 @ 9:42 am Misha

        Thanks so much. Is that the case in South Aust? I ask because the agent wanted me to renew becuase I am a good tenant and we get along well. There was never any question or issue raised about problems with income etc. The agent simply said the rules are that if one party does not sign over, then their name cannot be removed from the renewal (despite the renewal not having their signature).

        Reply

        • January 14, 2013 @ 7:01 pm Michael Yardney

          Misha
          Rather than renew your old lease, just enter into a new lease with you as the sole tenant

          Reply

  12. March 25, 2013 @ 10:49 pm April

    Thank you for your informative article an the answers you have provided. Similar to Jodie my husband and I were on a fixed term lease (12 months) that was due to expire on 26 January. I contacted the agent in mid-January to request a further 12 month renewal with a rent reduction. The property manager obtained agreement from the landlord for a further 12 month fixed term agreement with weekly rent reduced by $20pw – this was confirmed by email. We accepted this arrangement by reutrn email. We believed that the new lease would commence when the previous one expired at end of January and we waited patiently for the new lease to turn up. It never arrived and February’s rent was deducted from our account at the previous higher rate.

    In mid-late February we received written notification from the property manager to undertake a routine inspection. We received our new 12-month lease agreement at the beginning of March during a routine house inspection. The new agreement had the commencement date of 27 February. We asked to have the dates on the lease corrected to commence end January. Our agent has refused to do this, and also to refund the February rent óverpayment’ citing they had not received a signed agreement from us – a bit difficult to do when it hadnt been issued this’until the following month. What are our rights with regard to the óverpayment’ and agreement at the terms originally requested (12 months from end January)?

    Reply

  13. March 27, 2013 @ 1:22 pm Peter O'Brien

    Hello,
    Rent reduction: It really depends if the rent reduction was only going to take affect if a new lease was entered into, or if it was stated in writing that it was to be reduced even if the lease was to continue on a periodic basis. You dont have to sign the lease document, however it maybe a condition as to receive the rent reduction. It is unusual that the agent is responding the way that you have stated above regarding the length of the lease, however they maybe following the instructions of the Owner. I hope you find this information useful.

    Reply

  14. May 24, 2013 @ 8:02 pm Bex

    Hi there, thank you for the informative information. We have rented a house for 6 months, hoping that I would find work, but I haven’t been able to start working yet due to paperwork, and daycare availability. I have notified the real estate that we are struggling a little and asked for a rent reduction as I haven’t been able to find work as the lease is due 3rd July. I have asked if we can go on to periodical lease due to if I’m not able to get work over the next 4 months we will need to look at moving area. And they have said no the landlords want a 6 month lease signed and reduced the rent by $25 per week. I’m not happy to resign another 6 months as I am unsure of my situation. What should I do? I don’t want to move out, by the time I clean the house, carpets cleaned, spray the house with having an outside cat etc would be the difference in getting a smaller place. Especially if I’m considering moving areas within 4-5 months? Your advice would be most helpful. Thanks

    Reply

  15. May 28, 2013 @ 7:19 am Sara

    Hi,

    My partner and I recently split up.
    He and his parents own the property we’ve been living in. We’ve had a verbal rental agreement in place for the 3 years that we’ve been living there.
    I’ve asked him to move out and they now insisted on a formal rental agreement.

    What are my options? Do I have to sign it?

    Thanks
    Sara

    Reply

  16. June 9, 2013 @ 4:24 pm Brenda Lyons

    Hi, my kids and I are currently renting a property in Vic through an estate agent. We signed a new lease agreement in December last year and have yet to receive a copy signed by our landlord. What I’m wondering is if our lease is current and binding if it has not been signed by all parties involved?
    Thank You

    Reply

  17. September 13, 2013 @ 12:05 am Cherrill Fleming

    Good morning,
    I am a Landlord and have discussed a renewal option with my Tenant.
    My Tenant already paid a first and last months rent covering the first 12 month lease. What I am not sure about is what happens to that last months rent when I renew the lease? Does it get held over for the end of the next 12 months?
    Thanks Cherrill.

    Reply

    • September 13, 2013 @ 9:20 am Michael Yardney

      Cherill
      You shouldn’t be involved in this – that’s your property manager’s job
      I don’t know the wording of your lease, but you’re correct. It’s likley this will be held over if he signs a new similar lease

      Reply

  18. December 12, 2013 @ 7:33 pm DAVID

    Hello – I have a Unit that I rent out in QLD. Back in July my agent advised me that she had found a tenant for the property that would sign a 12 month lease. I received a phone call today from a friend to say that my unit is on realestate.com.au being advertised as being vacant as of January which means a 6 month lease was only taken. The agent never provided me with a copy of the lease but had said when they provided me with the 20a that the lease was sign and deposit paid. She had verbally advised me that the lease agreement was for 12 months. I know I was silly and should have asked for a copy of the lease but is there anything that can be done? She didnt even notify me to say the 6 month lease was coming due and whether or not i still wanted to rent the property out or to extend the lease with current tenants.

    Thanks for your help

    Reply

    • December 12, 2013 @ 8:01 pm Michael Yardney

      David
      Lack of communication from property managers is one of the most common complaints I hear.
      You are correct in saying you should have been consulted before the property is put back on the market for lease -unless the current tenant is breaking their lease and looking for a replacement. But even them you should have been notified.
      And yes – you should have requested a copy of the lease.
      Have you spoken to the property manager to hear their version of the story?

      Reply

  19. February 3, 2014 @ 5:48 pm Chloe

    Hi.
    The property I live now in Adelaide was on sale and is just sold to someone. The lease espires on 27th Feb and I signed up lease extension form for another year, but haven’t gotten any copy of that. I got a voice message from sales mangager and he told me new landlord wants to move in. Do I have a right to say no and live until the lease expires if they asked me to move out???

    Reply

    • February 3, 2014 @ 6:42 pm Michael Yardney

      If you have renewed your lease, the property should have been sold with a lease in place and most likely it would have not been bought by an owner occupier, but only by an investor.
      It sounds like you current landlord played it both ways – kept you dangling a long while waiting to see if he could find a buyer.
      Do you have any documentation from the property manager confirming that the current owner wanted to renew the lease?
      Do you have proof your returned the signed renewal of lease?
      Both these things would make your position stronger, because if you have a lease in place, they cannot give you notice to vacate prematurely

      Reply

  20. February 10, 2014 @ 12:33 am Mellissa

    Hello,
    I am after some advice with my rental agreement.

    If I sign a lease with one agency, then two weeks after moving in I get nothing more than a phone call stating the landlord has decided change agencies and to no longer pay rent to the first one. The new agency sent me a letter stating the account I should now be paying rent to and my new property manager, but no mention of another lease agreement or anything.

    My question today is, should I have signed a new lease with the new agency? I have tried on multiple occasions to contact them to no avail. Please help!

    Reply

    • February 10, 2014 @ 9:04 am Michael Yardney

      Melissa
      Your rental agreement is with the landlord (the owner of the property) the real estate agency is just his “agent” and he can change them. However your original lease still applies – you don’t need to sign a new agreement.

      Reply

  21. March 14, 2014 @ 2:10 pm Chris

    Hi,

    Thank you for such an informative article. I have a question about our lease. We rented a property in SA on a six month lease. We renewed it after 6 months for another 6 months. Then we had a property inspection in November, and we expected to be sent another lease renewal but never got one.

    At the time, we thought that this was a blessing, as we weren’t sure when we were going to be moving out anyway.

    We recently received some bad news and we have to return to the UK as soon as possible. We rang the agent who told us our lease was up in May, and said that she would try get someone else to replace us. She then sent us a lease break form, which stated we are responsible for paying for advertising and the rent until a replacement is found. We are really worried that we will have to cover the rent until the lease is up, which is an expense we hadn’t expected.

    I am not sure what to do now. Because we didn’t sign a lease renewal does that not mean that we didn’t agree to stay for another six months, and that we are not responsible for paying the rent up until the lease runs out, 9 weeks away? We are leaving in two weeks, so that will have been almost three weeks notice, and I think I read somewhere that if you are on a periodic agreement, that you have to give 21 days notice, or one rental period?

    I am nervous about bringing this up with the agent, as I don’t want to come across as trying to get out of my responsibilities, and as I don’t know that much about my rights, I don’t want to be fobbed off. because we are alos leaving the country, we are nervous about our bond, as we are counting on that money.
    I would appreciate your advice. Thank you in advance.

    Reply

    • March 14, 2014 @ 2:21 pm Michael Yardney

      Chris
      If you did not sign a lease renewal then you are on a “periodic tenancy”. A month to month lease. Do not let the property manger bully you

      Reply

  22. March 21, 2014 @ 3:53 am Samantha Peters

    Hi,
    I am on the Disability Pension; and trying to find a place to rent in Melbourne. My applications keep getting denied because landlords think I will not be able to pay the rent. I have rented in the past by myself and always had my lease renewed. The last rental place (three year lease and land lord wanted to renew the lease) was not suitable for me. So I moved in with my Mum (she lives interstate) just until I can find a new place to rent. It is impossible to go to the open inspections, as there is not much notice given to when these inspections will be held. Realestate agents say I have to attend these inspections before they can give me an application form. So I have gone to Melbourne three times and stayed there for a week each time. In order to go to inspections that are always give short notice.
    I have never been in dept, never owed money to anyone, and I do not use credit cards (as I always pay everything upfront).
    Every landlord/realestate agent that i have had always liked me as a good tenant.
    My Mum is now willing to contribute to my rent even through she will not live in the place.
    So I do not understand why no one wants me to be their tenant.
    Do you think some sort of descrimination is happening against me?
    Is there anything I am doing wrong?

    Reply

    • March 21, 2014 @ 7:03 am Michael Yardney

      Samantha
      It is normal practice for agents to expect you to inspect a property before applying to rent it. Most open for inspections are advertised mid week on the internet before the weekend opens so you should have a few days notice to plan. I hope you are not being discriminated against

      Reply

  23. March 24, 2014 @ 11:06 pm Christina

    Hi,

    We signed a new 12 month lease with our existing tenant in NSW in December 2013. As we are in the process of starting a knock down and rebuild on the rented premise, our agent put a 6 month break clause in the lease agreement so we can get them out after 6 months if required.

    The exact wording in the lease agreement is “Term: 3/12/2013 to 2/12/2014 subject to an option to end the agreement early, after the end of 26 weeks by either party by giving written notice of termination. The notice may be given at any time from 3 June 2014, up until the end of the fixed term (being 2 December 2014) but cannot take effect until the completion of the notice period. The landlord must give at least 30 days notice and the tenant must give at least 14 days notice”.

    We have been told by friends that as the lease is a 12 month lease, we cannot give notice to the tenants after 6 months. Is this true? We are now ready to demolish the property in July and need to get the tenants out.

    Reply

    • March 25, 2014 @ 7:00 am Michael Yardney

      While the wording of the lease term is a little unusual, it sounds like your interests have been covered.
      What are your friends’ concerns

      Reply

      • March 25, 2014 @ 10:22 am Christina

        My friends are thinking that we cannot add such a break clause into a 12 month lease agreement in the first place, and are questioning the clause’s validity. Can the tenant now say that the clause is not valid for the 12 month agreement and refuse to move out?

        We have used such break clauses in the UK but they don’t seem popular in Australia so not sure whether they could be added to fixed term agreements. We hope our property manager did the right thing by adding the break clause in or we would have just signed a 6 month lease back in December 2013 and saved ourselves the hassle!

        Reply

        • March 25, 2014 @ 11:45 am Michael Yardney

          Personally I would have signed a 6 months lease back then, but the lease clearly shows your intention. Let the property manger handle the issue

          Reply

  24. April 2, 2014 @ 5:39 pm jole

    Hi, 1 month ago we received notice from landlord saying that our fix term contract is almost ending. they ask if we want to continue for another 6 month + option. we have agreed to continue and sign the letter straight away. suddeny last week i was told that house owner planing to put the unit on the market. and they are not sending us new lease. do we have to move straight away if the unit is sold? how many days do they required to let us know? i have no plan on leaving at the moment, can i insist to stay atleast untill the next 6 month as we have agreed to continue for another 6 months. thx…

    Reply

    • April 2, 2014 @ 8:13 pm Michael Yardney

      Joel if the landlord hadn’t countersigned and you have a copy then you do not have an agreement.
      That means you will have to leave if the owner gives you 60 days notice

      Reply

      • April 3, 2014 @ 1:14 am jole

        Hi,
        Thanks for the info. if the house is not sold till the end of our lease date: 24/4/14. are they obligated to send us new lease? or they are allow to just keep us wondering what happen next? is there any way we could still stay on? we are good tenant for 2 years never miss payment. it just not the right time to leave in the middle of school year. if its next year we could move the kids school as per new place.
        i would appreciate your advice. thx
        PS: before we sign new lease early this year we already ask if the house owner have any intention to sell the house and the manager assure us that the owner is not selling the house.

        Reply

        • April 3, 2014 @ 6:29 am Michael Yardney

          Jole

          I understand – you are not in an enviable position. No the landlord does not have to renew your lease, and sorry there is no way you can force him, but he can’t just “kick you out”. he must give you adequate notice

          Reply

  25. April 20, 2014 @ 4:21 am joe

    Hi,
    my partner and I were engaged at the time, we chose a block of land in an estate together, I did all the negotiations with the real estate as to the purchase price, which her mother had obtained a loan for and pre approval for a house for later on.
    Couple months later we chose the house we wanted built, 12 months later it was finished (was delayed) we moved in and we payed the mortgage repayments to her mum as the loan and title were in her name (big mistake)
    my ex was already pregnant baby came along beautiful girl, year n a bit we split up and she moved back to her parents. I kept paying the mortgage and caught up on 16k of missed payments she decided we couldn’t afford (could of half payed house off in year and half with the income from my business)
    approx. 8-12 month later real estate agent came thru to “value” the property next I am getting a letter saying they had taken over 4 days prior to the dated letter and bond and rent etc. etc. was due.

    fast forward 6-8 months received notice to go to vcat for possession for second time, claiming I’m only a tenant,
    I had a caveat but was forced to prove with in 30 days last 5 days of those 30 when my lawyer had planned to act personal circumstances on his behalf meant nothing was on foot so to speak.

    My brother payed the concreter for our driveway even. how can she do this? how can I stop it she wont even let me make an offer to buy the house from her with what’s left owing on the mortgage as previously agreed on and is spoken about on a recorded phone call (which cant be used) she just wants me out like that after putting in nearly 80k into this house in just over 3 years?????

    have emails from builder in my and my ex’s name one even addressed to us in regards to the final payment to arrange the bank cheque for hand over, we chose colours fittings plans land everything I did all landscaping only just got proper curtains put up have the land sales contracts building contracts all contracts plumbing and electrical compliance certs and everything that goes with a brand new house what can do.
    this has been months of stress and cant get any answers from anyone not even my own lawyer of 10yrs
    kind regards and in desperate need

    Joe

    Reply

    • April 20, 2014 @ 6:34 am Michael Yardney

      Joe
      Clearly this is a very complicated issue and you neeed legal advice. It’s outside the scope of this article

      Reply

  26. April 22, 2014 @ 8:03 am Hayley

    Good Morning,
    I am just chasing a little bit more insight. The company that I work for has provided workers with accommodation for those who are not local to the area. In particular 1 house we have leased for 4 years, renewing every 12 months. Until last year we renewed for 6, and upon us now exiting (no need for the property) we have discovered that they have entered in a new clause on the renewal for 6 months lease.

    *13. Tenants acknowledge that scratches or gouges in polished timber floors are not considered wear and tear. Tenants agree to take all possible precautions to protect all flooring from furniture, including felt or rubber stoppers where required. Any damage will be repaired at the cost of the tenant.*

    The whole house has timber flooring, wish they are asking for the whole thing to be sanded and re-varnished which will cost thousands of dollars. There is no excess damage to floor – other than what we think is fair wear & tear. The agreement was signed because we did not think there had been any changes and no need to read through after 4 years, do we have any legal rights, or because it has been signed that is it?

    Also, we believe they are doing this because they have previously told us that repairs could not be done, and the rent had to be increased because the owner was broke.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated!!

    Reply

    • April 22, 2014 @ 9:31 am Michael Yardney

      Hayley
      It’s unfortunate you signed the lease without reading it as this is your legal agreement. Having said that you may still be able to cliam the floor condition is still “fair wear and tear” at a tribunal

      Reply

  27. August 2, 2014 @ 3:18 pm William

    Hi Peter, I am renting a 2 bed unit in Sydney, NSW. We are on a 12 month contract which ends in 2 months. I got an e-mail from the landlord asking if we would like to re-lease on a new 12 month contract. Is this allowed? I thought that if we were to go beyond the 12 month lease, I would automatically go on a rolling contract (month to month)?
    Also the landlord has indicated that the rent will increase from $570 to $605 from the start of the new contract. I find an increase of $35 quite excessive as he has not done any work to the property over the last year.

    Thanks,

    Reply

    • August 2, 2014 @ 4:47 pm Michael Yardney

      William, thanks for the question.

      Firstly the landlord can request you take out another 12 month lease – that is common practice, but you’re not obliged to – you can continue on a month to month tenancy.

      And the landlord is allowed to ask for a rental increase to the market rent – again you are allowed to tell the managing agent you think it is too high, and you’ve got the option to move if you think he is being unfair

      Reply

  28. August 18, 2014 @ 12:04 pm ina

    Hi, we received an agency agreement from the real estate for the sale of our property. we did not agree on the percentage fee the agent was charging in the agreement, crossed it out, made a change and initialled it, then sent it back to the agent. The agent never returned it or acknowledged the change in their fees. When the sale of this property goes through will they honor the change in fees or use their old fee?
    Thanks

    Reply

    • August 18, 2014 @ 12:10 pm Michael Yardney

      Ina
      You should have been given a signed copy of the agreement with the agent counter signing your changes. If not please request it immediately.

      Reply

  29. August 20, 2014 @ 4:13 am Pookie

    Hi Michael. I’m a landlord with a property in melbourne. We recently granted a 12 month lease renewal to our tenants at a reduced rent rate (as they claimed they could not afford the original rent rate). We were recently advised by our property manager that they wish to terminate the lease early (after only 2 months on the new 12 month lease). We were also advised that the tenants found replacement tenants (two 21 year old boys from abroad – only been in Australia for a couple of months).

    These are not ideal candidates to re-rent our property. What rights do I have? I am yet to receive written notice that they wish to terminate the agreement (In fact I don’t even have an intended vacate date). When I told the PM that I wasn’t comfortable proceeding with the tenants’ recommended replacements, she basically said I had no other option, and that I would need to incur the costs of re-leasing. The PM has also put pressure on me to make a decision ( as boys have been accepted for another property). She has also advised that the existing tenants have pretty much packed up and are ready to leave the property ??? I’m very confused as it all seems strange. Can these tenants just leave ? We have a mortgage on the property and are leaving for our holiday in 2 weeks … I can’t rearrange my finances if they intend to vacate so soon. Any suggestions/advice?

    Reply

    • August 20, 2014 @ 6:45 am Michael Yardney

      Pookie

      Despite you having a lease, the tenants can leave, but they must keep paying the rent until a suitable replacement tenant is found and they will have to pay any leasing costs. Unfortunately if you want them to pay rent until a new tenant is found and any costs of your property manager releasing the property, you will not be able to increase the rent. Having said that do not feel pressured into selecting replacement tenants that you are not happy with

      Reply

  30. September 3, 2014 @ 4:00 am Tina Myers

    Hi,

    I lease a small bakery in a building and the original period was for 2 years with an option to renew of 1 year. So I decided to renew the lease for 1 year and wrote to the company I lease for saying I wanted to exercise my option to renew but I was 10k behind in rent and my lease contract says I can only renew if I’m not in breach of the lease at the time I renew the option or the “commencement of the new term”. So then a few weeks later the company I was leasing from just goes and sells the building to another company and I wasn’t even told about this until now (3 months later). Now the new company says I didn’t exercise a valid option to renew and that I have to be out immediately and that I owe them $40,000 in rent even though my lease was with the first group, not this new mob. Can they just ignore my renewed lease like that? I’m worried they’re going to come and take my fixtures.

    Reply

    • September 3, 2014 @ 9:29 am Michael Yardney

      Unfortunately being in arrears with your rent means that you are i “breech of your lease” and gives the owner the right NOT to renew your commercial lease.
      And if the old owner sells the property, the lease and all the obligations and rights move on to the new owner, so it seems that owing $40,000 in rent will work against you

      Reply

  31. September 4, 2014 @ 11:28 am Tara

    Hi,
    I am a tenant in Victoria, my lease is due for renewal. I have asked the landlord for a 6 month lease rather than the 12 month lease from the previous period. They have said no. I can not commit to 12 months as I intend to move in 6 months and do not want to break the lease. What are my rights?

    Reply

    • September 5, 2014 @ 6:55 pm Michael Yardney

      You don’t have to take up the 12 months lease you could stay on a month to month tenancy, but the landlord is not required to give you a 6 months lease

      Reply

  32. September 11, 2014 @ 7:36 pm Dylan

    Hi Michael,
    I’m a residential tenant in WA, 8 weeks from the end of my year lease. 5 weeks ago I sent an email and phone request to the agent for a month extension/periodic contract as my job changes location soon after the year period ends. I have followed this up on a weekly basis, but keep getting told they can’t get hold of the owner. Incidentally I ran into the owner’s mother, who said they had not heard anything about a request for extension.

    In 1 week I am booked go overseas for approx. the remainder of the year lease. As I’m in WA I am not sure if we are protected by the 60 day notice period applied in other states. So I’m worried I won’t hear back from the agent and will have to assume the lease isn’t renewed, and effectively vacate immediately.

    Any advice on if I should be busy moving out, staying and waiting for a 60 day notice, or how to get a response form the landlord?
    Cheers,
    Dylan

    Reply

    • September 12, 2014 @ 4:44 pm Michael Yardney

      I’n not familiar with WA residential tenancy law but I believe the landlord must give you 60 days to vacate

      Reply

  33. September 27, 2014 @ 5:25 pm Georgie

    Hi there,
    We’ve had a rental property for three years and our agents have been quiet frankly awful, we agreed to a small dog which happened to be a Rottweiler and one tenant did some unapproved electrical work to the property by installing an air vent in a toilet area and replacing power points then when vacating presented us with a a $700 bill which our agents seemed not too fussed about… In any case, we want to sell in six months and have just signed a new tenant for that period. How much notice to we need to give that we’re selling and does he need to vacate after that fixed period. Thank you

    Reply

    • September 28, 2014 @ 8:53 am Michael Yardney

      Georgie
      The tenant must be given the opportunity to stay the full 6 months unless you both agree to shorten the lease. How much notice must be given depends upon which state you’re in – usually 60 days notice

      Reply

  34. December 13, 2014 @ 3:46 pm Sally Hudson

    Hi, I’ve been renting the same residential property in NSW for the past 3 years. My lease is due for renewal and I don’t want to commit myself to a further 12 months with the increased rental at this stage. The RE has told me that if I don’t resign for a further 12 months I will be issued with a notice to vacate and so I’m being forced to commit myself to another year. Is this allowable?

    Reply

    • December 13, 2014 @ 8:31 pm Michael Yardney

      Sally
      Unfortunately, once your lease has expired your landlord can renew your lease on whatever “reasonable terms they want.

      Of course if you don’t want to accept them you don’t have to renew your lease. If the terms where unreasonable you could appeal – however the tribunal would not see the request for a 12 month lease unreasonable.

      Having said that, your landlord would be silly to lose a tenant and pay the costs of finding a new one – we would recommend to our landlords to let you stay

      Reply

  35. January 6, 2015 @ 3:18 pm Michelle

    Hi, I have have rented in this property for the last 2 1/2 years, renewing my lease three times. Only three months into this third lease I have had to break lease due to an unexpected change of employment. My realestate says I have to pay over $300 for advertising and over $500 in re letting pro rata fees. Are these fees applicable to me seeings there would not have been significant costs involved in renewing leases with me or any advertising? Or am I responsible for future costs?
    Thanks.

    Reply

    • January 6, 2015 @ 4:06 pm Michael Yardney

      Michelle
      I see your point but unfortunately the fees do apply to you. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been there or how many leases you’ve had before
      Your current lease (contract) commits both you and the landlord for 12 months

      Reply

  36. January 14, 2015 @ 12:02 pm Adam

    Hi,
    Our rental property has a long time tenant that already renewed his lease for several times. Every time the lease was renewed, our agent would charge us letting fee and preparation fee. So is that normal? And where could we find some official information about the potential fees that may apply to us as the property owner?

    Reply

    • January 14, 2015 @ 5:17 pm Michael Yardney

      Adam
      The fees your property manager charges you should be set out in your management agreement with them. It is normal practice to charge a lease preparation fee each time (this takes work and time) but I don’t think a letting fee is appropriate as they have not re let the property

      Reply

  37. January 14, 2015 @ 3:04 pm Bel

    Hi,
    I have my lease renewal coming up in March, and my RE would like to know what my intentions are with the lease renewal (this includes a $45pcm increase which I believe is reasonable).
    Personally, I would like to stay on at the property on a month-to-month basis, but have been told that the landlord only wants to have a fixed term lease (ie 12month minimum).
    I have been in the property almost 3 years, and have paid my rent on time for this entire period.
    I would just like to know what my rights as a tenant are – if I chose not to sign a renewal, will I receive a notice to vacate – and when would this come into place? At the end of the tenancy agreement in March? Or would the 120 days apply due to no specified reason.
    Thanks
    Bel
    Melbourne, Vic

    Reply

    • January 14, 2015 @ 5:27 pm Michael Yardney

      Bel
      At the end of your current lease the landlord has the right to request you sign a new lease and to increase the rent to the market rent. If you want to stay on you may chose to sign anew lease (which gives you security) or ask to stay on a month to month tenancy.

      If you do this it is unlikely for the landlord to ask you to vacate, as he’d have to find a new tenant and this would cost him agent fees and most likely a period of vacancy.
      You are correct – you would have to be given the required period of notice, you would not have to leave at the end of the lease period.

      Reply

  38. February 5, 2015 @ 5:41 pm Kris

    Hi

    I have been leasing a unit here in Victoria for the last 12 months. My current lease expires at the end of February 2015. Approximately 3 months before the end of my current lease, I was offered a 12 month renewal, and signed the agreement. This new lease period is from the beginning of March. My circumstances have since changed and I may be required to move interstate or overseas within the next 12 months. Is there anything I can do to either break the lease renewal (which hasn’t started yet) or to switch to a periodic agreement as opposed to a fixed term agreement. Or am I bound to the agreement as it has been signed?

    Thanks for all your informative advice!

    Reply

    • February 6, 2015 @ 1:38 am Michael Yardney

      Kris
      If you’ve signed your agreement both you and the landlord are bound by it.
      You will however be able to break your lease – at a cost – you may have to pay letting costs and advertising costs

      Reply

  39. February 13, 2015 @ 11:42 am Anthony Halog

    Dear Michael, Our rental agreement will expire in the middle of April this year and the property manager has provided us a renewal contract for another fixed year to be signed within a week. However, we have not signed this yet because we are currently building a house, which is expected to be completed by July this year. What do we need to do? Are we entitled to stay in the rental property beyond the expiration date without signing a new fixed year contact. We have been in this rental house for more than 2 years now. Are we entitled to request for a periodic agreement which is on monthly basis until we move to our new house? Please advise according to tenancy laws of Queensland/Australia? Thanks a lot.

    Reply

    • February 13, 2015 @ 12:56 pm Michael Yardney

      Anthony,
      I only know the Victorian legislation intimately, but you are within your rights to request to stay on a periodic agreement. The landlord can’t force you to sign a lease, but he can, if you don’t come to an agreement, with sufficient notice ask you to vacate.
      In the current climate he would be foolish to do so

      Reply

  40. February 16, 2015 @ 12:58 am Daniel

    Hi Michael,
    I am asking this as a tenant in Victoria. My current lease concludes at the end of this month (February). We were not issued a notice to renew as the agent had stated that the landlord was considering demolishing. Am I correct in saying that the landlord must give 90 days notice to have us vacate even though the lease contract will end? Also, what will be the required rental amount if none is stated. Is it assumed to be the same amount as on the lapsed agreement?
    Regards,
    Daniel

    Reply

    • February 16, 2015 @ 7:34 am Michael Yardney

      Daniel
      Your landlord is within his rights to request you vacate as long as he gives you adequate notice and yes it must still be 90 days even thought he lease is now a “periodic” – month to month- lease. And the rent should stay the same

      Reply

  41. February 24, 2015 @ 4:33 pm Linda

    Hi Michael
    My tenant has been on a periodic tenancy agreement for the past 15 years, there is no bond or property condition report.
    As the forms and laws have changed I would like to have a new agreement signed, either periodic or fixed and I can not find any information on signing a new lease from a periodic. I would like to include a rental increase with the last rental increase being in November 2014.
    How do I go about a new lease? Can the rent be increased before the prescribed 6 months, can it be increased with a new lease agreement now or should I wait until the 6 months is up and how much notice needs to be given.
    Regards Linda

    Reply

    • February 24, 2015 @ 5:48 pm Michael Yardney

      Linda
      These are all things your property manager should be doing for you as part of their normal duties. Have they not advised you?

      Reply

      • February 24, 2015 @ 8:15 pm Linda

        We have never had a property manager.
        There is information about fixed term rolling to periodic and renewal of fixed term but nothing that I’ve been able to find about updating or renewing a periodic lease.

        Reply

        • February 25, 2015 @ 12:29 am Michael Yardney

          Linda
          You can request the tenant move to a fixed term lease, but they don’t have to and I can understand why they would resist after such a long time

          Reply

          • February 26, 2015 @ 3:13 am Linda

            It doesn’t have to be a fixed term but a new periodic. So are you saying that there is no way to update the lease without getting rid of the tenant? The current periodic has changed with the new laws anyway hasn’t it? So the terms wouldn’t be any different. And what about the rent increase? can it be raised with a new periodic lease agreement or does it have to wait for the full 6 months on the current one.

          • February 26, 2015 @ 9:43 am Michael Yardney

            Linda
            I don’t know the specific clauses of your lease so I’m sorry I can’t give you advice on your particular issue. That’s why I always recommend getting a professional property manager to look after your assets.

            Please read this blog: http://propertyupdate.com.au/can-find-tenant-dont-need-agent-really-jhai-mitchell/

  42. March 3, 2015 @ 1:50 pm Kristee

    Hi I am a tedant in NS and my brothers and my lease is up April first. Now we went in end of November 2014 to have his friend removed on the lease and me put on as an occupant. Now after I emailed them in January and no one got back to me on how we stop the payments to them from taking it out of my brothers account they said we had to give them 3 months notice. Now my brother and I are practically already moved out and he is in the navy and gone to sea. Now when we were changing tr lease and when I emailed multiple times no one got back to me regarding it and when we got a piece of paper in the mail no where did it say we needed to give three months notice in regarding us renewing the lease or not. Not they are requesting that we would go month to month. This apt building has had health and safety issues the entire 3 years my brother has been here. Now what can I do ? Because I’m not going to pay rent in the crap hole an extra month that I wouldn’t be living here .
    Thanks

    Reply

  43. April 27, 2015 @ 1:44 pm paul

    Hi Michael..I am currently leasing a house in N.S.W and at the end of the lease next March I would like to stay for the foreseeable future ( 5 to 6 years or more) we go through an agent but the owner and I are happy to sign a contract without the agents involvement at the end of this lease, are there any penalties to the owner or I, that we should be aware of if we both gave the agent adequate notice?

    Reply

    • April 27, 2015 @ 1:46 pm Michael Yardney

      Paul
      I always feel it’s better that you have an agent in the middle – they are more likely to protect you by knowing the tenancy laws

      Reply

      • April 28, 2015 @ 6:43 am paul

        Hi Michael, yes I hear you but can the owner legally do it without incurring any penalties.

        Reply

        • April 28, 2015 @ 7:21 am Michael Yardney

          Paul, as the tenant you do not have to give the agent adequate notice – the agent is working on behalf of the owner and how much notice he has to give will be dependant on his agreement with them

          Reply

  44. May 6, 2015 @ 3:49 pm Kathy

    Hi, is an option to renew allowable on a residential lease?

    Reply

  45. May 22, 2015 @ 10:59 pm Jess

    HI Michael,
    I am leasing out my home in Victoria. Although the lease commenced on the 10th of June last year the tenant asked if their pay cycle could be from the 15th to 14th of following month. I did agree to this but would it mean that I cannot increase the rent on the 10th of June this year when the new lease is drawn up to commence on the 10th of June. Can I only receive the increased rent from the 15th of June as that is when the new pay cycle commences? The old tenancy agreement states that tenancy and the pay cycle commences on the 10th.

    Reply

    • May 23, 2015 @ 10:57 pm Michael Yardney

      Jess – You should be able to increase your rent on the anniversary of the lease – it has nothing to do with when the rent is paid.
      However you will have to give the tenant appropriate notice of the increase – your managing agent should have already done so

      Reply

  46. May 27, 2015 @ 2:36 pm Peter

    Hi there

    My girlfriend and I have been renting a place for 1 year, once out 1 year lease was up they decided to sell the house. It was fortunate that an investor bought the place 1 month later. We signed a new 1 year lease agreement 3 days later. A month went by, and just received notification from the real estate agent that the investor wasnt able to come up with the finance in time during the settlement period and are putting it back on the market.
    If they sell the house to someone who wants to move in, can they kick me out since Ive signed a new 1 year lease? or dont I have a leg to stand on.

    Reply

    • May 27, 2015 @ 8:38 pm Michael Yardney

      Peter – the property must be sold with the lease in place as long as you both signed the new lease – have you got a copy?

      Reply

  47. May 27, 2015 @ 9:20 pm Paul

    Hi Michael,
    My wife and I have a property that has been leased by tenants for the last 3 years. They have indicated at the end of the lease (in just over two months time) they would like to continue on a periodic tenancy. We wish to take over the property to make improvements and repairs and so have issued (within the accepted time frame of 60 days) a request to vacate. The agent however has informed me that in order to re-lease the property within six months we would need to apply to VCAT to do so. Is this correct? Why? We plan to do the improvements in a much shorter time frame than 6 months.

    Reply

  48. June 16, 2015 @ 9:29 pm Daniel

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your article! A great resource among all the sites.
    5-6 weeks before the end of my 1 year fixed rental agreement in SA I received the Renal form. I wish I could include it. It is very bereft of information and does not mention the option of a periodic lease. At the time I was looking to buy or if nothing was out there continue the rent.

    I signed the renewal agreement.

    I couple of weeks later I found the right house. I had been looking all year so I thought it was great timing.

    Before the next 12 month agreement started, within the first 12 month agreement, I notified that I would like to enter into a (what I then new of as ) a periodic agreement until the settlement date of my new house. Giving 38 days till the new end date.

    I asked that the owner be asked if that could be negotiated.

    The Agent is saying that once the renewal is signed that becomes the new start date however the Act is SA as far as I can read dictates very clearly that the agreement period is definite, with start and end dates.

    The agent is holding me to another 12 months lease when what I thought I was doing was giving notice to, rather than extend, let them know as earlier as I knew that circumstances had changed and i would like to enter a periodic lease rather than 12 or according to the agent 13 months of rent or until they find another occupant.

    She has been very insistent that I do not get legal assistance and that there is no way out of the agreement. Reasonably, i think, I gave notice under the initial agreement, the new lease agreement had not started.

    At our work we get one free 30 min appointment with a lawyer, who understanding that the Tribunal operates independently, there was significant opportunity for a negotiation, and that is always an option, and that it was reasonable to suggest, or think, i was breaking the current lease and that the new lease had not commenced. I believe in SA SACAT will allow lawyer representation if both parties agree or if the landlord is being represented by the agent on a matter where the subject is complex and may disadvantage the person, if they didn’t have a lawyer present.

    The lawyer agrees the situation is ambiguous and not all the information was given to me to consider.

    Paying a mortgage and rent will, and already is becoming financially unbearable. The lawyer will cost me quite a sum as well, but much less than 4 -6 -12 months rent…..

    Your thoughts would be much appreciated. I have discontinued paying rent and advised them I will need to take this to SACAT for a decision. She still is telling me I am wasting my time and discouraging the lawyer. I think i gave notice, albeit a few days late, that i want to enter into a periodic lease.

    Reply

    • June 17, 2015 @ 3:16 am Michael Yardney

      Have you given your intentions in writing – if so you have a strong argument

      Reply

  49. July 9, 2015 @ 8:18 pm kierah

    Hi we are renting a property and our 12 month lease ran out we agreed to do another 6 months and we’re meant to go and sign our new lease but have not yet and now want to move are we now stuck here for another 6 months even if we didn’t re sign the lease or are we on a month to month lease

    Reply

  50. July 10, 2015 @ 6:19 pm JB

    The current tenant completed a fixed term lease about 6 months ago and is now on a rolling lease. We have agreed to renew for 1 year on a new fixed term lease (reduced rent). The question is – their current rental (month to month) is from the 14th of each month. We would like to start the new lease from the 1st of the month – the tenant seems ok but the agent not so. Are there any legal reasons stopping this

    Reply

    • July 10, 2015 @ 9:33 pm Michael Yardney

      No – there is no reason at all you can’t start your tenancy on 1st of the month

      Reply

  51. August 29, 2015 @ 8:39 am Matthew

    Hi Michael,
    My current tenants in NSW does not want to renew their lease as they may be looking for a house instead of a unit. They still have 10 weeks to go before the lease expires. I am keen to get a new tenant in place who will sign a 12 month lease. I am thinking of giving them a 30 days of notice for termination notice (which includes the last day of the lease). When could I advertise the property? My agent seems to think that I could not advertise until the tenants gives notice to vacate. I am not keen to enter into a periodic agreement as we are about to have a baby – we need security.
    Once I have given them the notice of termination, do they have the obligation to leave the premises?

    Thanks.

    Reply

    • August 29, 2015 @ 8:50 am Michael Yardney

      Mathew as you say you must give them notice to vacate and each state has a different time period that must be given – you can’t ask them to leave before the end of the lease and they don’t need to leave until the end of the notice period.
      Theoretically you can advertise but cannot hold inspections while the current tenants are in place, but you could come to a (financial) arrangement for them to let you have open for inspections. This isn’t usually a good idea, as the property may not be well presented, especially as they pack before their move.

      Reply

  52. September 11, 2015 @ 9:52 pm Ezza B

    I’ve lived in the same house for 3 years and agreed to sign on for another 6months lease with the landlord and my new housemate; however my third housemate stopped paying rent three months ago (but i covered for him and paid the rent so technically no money is owed to the landlord) and at the last tribunal hearing i found out because me and the deadbeat housemate are both on the same lease the only way to evict him is to evict me too. If i comply and move out on the date the eviction notice and then i sign a new separate lease the day after will that lease be valid or can i still be evicted if my landlord has to take out a warrant if the deadbeat housemate doesn’t move out? Just trying to figure out what my options are – I’ve talked to my uncle and he says its best if i leave altogether however my new housemate and i love the house and dont want to move. Just another example of people who do the right thing getting screwed over and ppl who do the wrong thing getting rewarded for it. I live in melbourne Australia.

    Reply

    • September 12, 2015 @ 8:25 am Michael Yardney

      Ezza – yes you’ve all been tarred with the same brush. The question is really would the landlord sign a new lease with you if he’s currently eveicting you – probbaly not

      Reply

  53. November 19, 2015 @ 6:54 pm Andrew

    I have an unusual situation – we have given our tenant the appropriate 60 days notice to vacate. We are about to build on the site. The tenant has advised that he will vacate some 14 days AFTER the notice period expires. The issue I have is that we were planning on demolishing prior to Christmas – with the tenant staying on longer, and the building industry effectively closing over the X-mas break, we will actually be set back by over a month (allowing for disconnection of services, holidays etc). Our agent has advised that we must wait for the tenant to be in breech of the notice, and then apply to VCAT. By the time we get a hearing, he will be out – but we will have lost our important time to have the place demolished. Is there anything we can do? I have offered him a weeks free rent if he moves out by the due date but he still won’t leave. I would have thought that if the notice stipulated a date then the tenant must be out by that date – I feel he should move into short term accommodation until his new lease commences.
    Please reply!

    Reply

    • November 19, 2015 @ 7:08 pm Michael Yardney

      Andrew
      This is unfortunate – you are right – the tenant should move out – but you can’t really force them, but maybe you could pay them an incentive to leave

      Reply

      • November 20, 2015 @ 10:39 am Andrew

        Hi Michael,
        Thank you for your quick response – I have offered him a weeks rent ($650) to leave by the required date but he doesn’t want to move twice (short term accommodation and then into his new rental). It seems as though we will be put out and the law is in the tenants favour – hardly fair when we have done everything by the book!

        Reply

  54. December 9, 2015 @ 11:16 am Sarah

    Hi Michael,
    I’ve got a letter on 3/12/15 from real estate agent about lease extension as our lease contract would end on 3/2/2016. The first letter said that there would be no rent increase and the rent would remain at the same price as last year. I’ve never delayed my payment so it was reasonable. I’ve signed up renewal agreement which was two papers as usual and then handed one over to the agent face to face and I kept another on 4/12/15.
    However, I’ve got a second letter on 8/12/15 which was the exactly the same form but it said that landlord wanted to put the price up. They want me to return the second form within 14 days.
    I don’t know why agent and landlord send me one after another which they seem to change their mind about the renting price even I’ve signed up and returned already though.
    1.Do I have to give them a reply for the second letter?
    2.If I don’t agree with the second letter, then do I have to move out if they want me to move out?
    (But then, is there any meaning about the first letter that we’ve both agreed with previously?)
    3. Renewal agreement I’ve signed up said that extension period is 12 months( from 4/2/2016 ~5/2/2017) Are they able to put the price up during the period?

    Reply

    • December 9, 2015 @ 12:45 pm Michael Yardney

      Sarah
      answering #3 first: yes it is normal to increase the rent at the end of the first term of the lease.
      #1 If you’ve signed a lease renewal and it has been countersigned by the landlord and you’ve got a copy this should outline the terms of your lease for the next term including rent.

      I suggest you ask your managing agent why the change – you can’t just ignore the letter

      Reply

      • December 9, 2015 @ 1:00 pm Sarah

        I’m Sarah previous. I’m living in SA and I’d like to listen to your answer about question #2.
        If they want me to move out, is it possible ? How long prior notice they have to give me?

        I’m so grateful that you give me such a prompt advice. I’m migrant so I’m not good at speaking but might be better written English. Thank you.

        Reply

        • December 9, 2015 @ 1:05 pm Michael Yardney

          Sarah
          If you and the owner do not come to an agreement on rent he may ask you to vacate- in Victoria he needs to give 60 days

          Reply

  55. January 23, 2016 @ 1:27 pm Milda

    Hi,
    We have a tenant (mum and daughter (8)) on a 3 months contract (1/10/2015 – 31/12/2015) We as landlords has managed the agreement ouselves (was not working through property manager). Using the lease agreement of website of wa.gov.au (Were in
    WA).
    Since day one their was always long excuses and stories why payment was not on time, why she can’t keep to appointsments re paper to sign or inspection.
    We was hesitate to renew the contract but after reissuring us that all her issuses was sorted out now we left a contract 7days ago for another 3 months (till 30/3/2016). We as landlords haven’t signed it yet and according to the tenant has made amendments to the contract and are not willing to sign it yet. Apparently she have spoke to a property manager who have showed her on her rights. She is behind with rent again. So also does not maintain the garden in full as that was part of the agreement (to drop the rent amount). We have tried to give her time to get on her feed. She had this sad story to say she needed to move town, make a new begining… We really wanted to help and just give her a break. Seems she does not appreciate it and we said that we are only willing to renew contract if last years excuses wont repeat itself and she could stay on track. She is also having a friend stay their which name she does not want to mention in the contract (have not permission to be there). Their is also a separate flat on the premises which are rented by another person but they split some of the utility bills. To keep ratio fare it’s important that only nr’s mentioned in contacts can stay.
    My question is seeing that we do not have a signed contract in place, on which form can we give her notice (as landlord can I use a firm from the wa.gov.au website or do I need to seek professional help from now in)? What reason do we need to give.
    She might stop paying rent (only bond no upfront payments) and seems like she has left the previous landlord unhappy and with some damages…
    Thanks for your advise.

    Reply

    • January 23, 2016 @ 1:48 pm Michael Yardney

      Sorry Milda – I don’t know the WA legislation and forms – you can see why trying to save a few dollars (tax deductible)by not using a property manager can cost you more. It’s not to late to give it to an agent, though they may be reluctant to take it on

      Reply

  56. February 1, 2016 @ 11:39 pm Jim

    Moved to Victoria never having rented before, ever, … and signed a 12 month lease with commencing 5/12/14. Property Manager advised me as soon as I signed on the dotted line that i must know the Landlord as we work in the same Gov Dept, which I did, red flag no.1.
    At the end of July 2015 property manager issues me with a notice requesting an expression of interest for another fixed term to be signed (or not) and returned to her, I sign and return with and interest to lease for another 12 months.
    Within a week the Landlord is calling me directly and asking me to lease privately through her so as to save the agency fees, I reluctantly agree, as
    the situation is uncomfortable as we do work together.
    She says she will download a lease agreement and we will get together and sign it. This never happens even though i repeatedly ask her… she gives one excuse after another.
    November rocks around and PM comes for a routine inspection and I ask her what’s going on and she says she has no idea but the 12 month lease has expired and I am now on a Periodic Tenancy. I fully admit, being new to this that I wasn’t even sure what this meant and she was not very forthcoming…. even mumbled something about 26 weeks notice if I was asked to vacate. I start reading upon this quick smart. She also said she has not spoken to the Landlord and knows nothing about the ‘verbal agreement’ we had.
    January arrives and I get a call from a real estate agent, from the same agency, asking to come and appraise the property in order for it to be sold. Days later it’s on the market and the inspections begin.
    I understand that a Landlord does not have to renew a fixed term tenancy but I cannot believe there is NO mechanism in place that required the PM to inform me, the tenant, that the Landlord had declined to renew especially IF the tenant has expressed their interest to renew in writing.
    Had I know she wasn’t interested in keeping me on a fixed term, either leasing privately with her OR through the agency ( and obviously looking at selling, which she denied ) for another 12 months I would have exercised my right to give 28 days ? notice before the end date of fixed term and found somewhere else. I did not want to be on a periodic tenancy and feel that it should be a choice.
    I feel that it was quite duplicitous in the way it was done, keep the tenant on who pays rent on time without fail, the agency gets their fee and has the apartment spotless,.. but all the while planning to sell…
    I am now waiting for a notice to vacate as the agent said there has been 2 contracts put in, but then says there is a possibility an investor will buy, so I feel like I am in limbo. I know I get 60 days to vacate but I’m a 10 hour shift worker who’s getting a bit long in the tooth and getting to inspections is a nightmare given my hours..
    As you state above – “Whether terminating or renewing the lease or increasing the rental, tenants must be given sufficient notice under the Residential Tenancies Acts that govern most states and territories.” I really feel that this should be part of the legislation, particularly the bit about renewing, it should incorporate ‘periodic’ when referring to renewing.
    So i guess my question is, is there anything I can do? I really feel like I have been hoodwinked and that perhaps? the property manager should have been a bit more on the ball?

    Reply

    • February 2, 2016 @ 7:07 am Michael Yardney

      Jim
      Thanks for the detailed explanation. You’re right to feel “hoodwinked” but I’m not sure it’s the property manager’s fault – they were probably not told of the owner’s intentions.
      Sorry there is nothing you can really do other than wait to find out if the property is sold and the new owner’s intentions – first prize would be that they are an investor.
      Of course the altentaive is to go out and find new accomodation and the give your 30 day’s notice that you’re leaving

      Reply

  57. May 17, 2016 @ 7:54 pm Matt

    Great article. Thank you for the valuable information.
    I am a landlord in Victoria and I rented my house on a 12 month fixed term lease. The residence was/is my primary place of residence. I am wondering if there is any possible way through giving the tenant some sort of notice, if I can end the fixed term lease early? I had initially rented the property out as I was moving closer to work. My circumstances have changed and I no longer need to move away and am sleeping on my brothers couch. I have offered the current tenant 4 weeks free rent if she was to leave but she has declined the offer. Please tell me there is something I can do?

    Reply

    • May 18, 2016 @ 8:14 pm Michael Yardney

      There is no way you can unilaterally break the lease if the tenant is adhering to their obligations.
      Of course you can offer them an incentive – I know you have but you may have to offer more

      Reply

  58. May 24, 2016 @ 3:42 pm Lori Barber

    I live in apartment complex in Utah and the new owners failed to get the new lease to me within the 60 days timeframe. My old lease doesn’t expire until the end of May and I have signed a new agreement with them. They did not raised my rent, because they acknowledged that they had missed the deadline, but now they want me to pay for water, garbage, sewer and parking which is part of the new agreement. Wouldn’t they to honor the old rental agreement for another year, before charging me for all of these extras, which wasn’t a part of my old lease?

    Reply

    • May 24, 2016 @ 4:07 pm Michael Yardney

      You are int he USA and I am based in Australia, so I don’t understand your local laws.

      However it seems wrong that they’ve changed the basis of your lease unilaterally

      Reply

  59. June 18, 2016 @ 6:53 am Hannah

    Hi
    We live in Brisbane on a six month fixed lease. The letting agency asked us two months prior to the lease expiring whether we want to sign up for another six month lease or not. They also issued us a Notice to Leave Form from the landlord but this will be negated if we do sign on to a new lease.
    At the moment we’re not sure what we want to do yet. However the letting agents have been pressuring us into giving them an answer and say if we do not get back to them within 7 days they will start advertising the place. I just wanted to know whether they are able to pressure us this way 7 weeks before the lease actually ends, or is there a rule whereby we don’t actually have to let them know until 2 weeks (for example) before the end of the lease, and they are able to advertise prior to this point?
    Thanks
    Hannah

    Reply

    • June 18, 2016 @ 2:52 pm Michael Yardney

      It sounds like your agent is being a little bit pushy – maybe there’s also a little nervous because there are so many vacancies in Brisbane and they’re trying to intimidate you to stay – I’ve never heard of a notice to vacate being given TOGETHER with an offer to lease.
      The residential tenancy laws vary a little from state to state, but its seems like you only need to give 14 days notice – check out this link: https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/Renting/Ending-a-tenancy/Notice-periods-for-ending-a-tenancy

      Reply

  60. July 1, 2016 @ 10:43 am Sami

    Thanks for your amazing work, i have a question here is my situation.

    I have been renting for 2 years on a fixed term contract (renewed twice), now in 2 months i’ll be approaching my 3rd year. The Lease agent sent me a new contract for a 3rd year fixed term and he is really trying to push me to sign it. However, this year i want to move into a periodic lease, i will most likely stay for another year but we are also thinking of moving to another city so i dont want to commit.

    What are my options here, if i refuse to sign a 12 month lease can landlord evict me few months into it because i refused? Can the landlord increase my rent as “retaliation” ?

    The agent also stated that if i don’t sign a 12 month lease the landlord will impose a rent increase, can he issue such an ultimatum ? Thanks for oyur help

    Reply

    • July 1, 2016 @ 12:26 pm Michael Yardney

      Sami

      I don’t know which state you’re in and the residential tenancy act varies slightly form State to State.
      In general you DO NOT have to sign another 12 month lease. Yes the landlord can give you an incentive to resign and not increase your rent, and yes they can increase your rent if they coose to – but only to market and only every 6 – 12 months depending where you are. If the rent is increased above market you have the right to seek mediation at the tenancy tribunal.

      Just like you are not locked in for a fixed period of time, if you chose a periodic lease, neither is the landlord, and they can ask you to vacate by giving valid reasons and sufficient notice, but not signing a 12 month lease is not a valid reason

      It sound like they’re trying to bully you

      Reply

  61. July 25, 2016 @ 9:51 am Sami

    Hi Michael,

    Just wanted to say thank you, i took your advise and put my foot down with the agent who was trying to force me / bully me to sign a 12 month fixed contract, i ended up getting a periodic contract like i wanted and negotiated to keep the rent same (atleast for another 6 months).

    Reply

  62. July 31, 2016 @ 11:26 am Chaz

    Hi Michael,

    Our real estate sent out a 12 month lease renewal back in Feb. & we emailed our property manager back & asked to have it changed to 6 months. She said yes it was fine & to just change the date & sign. We did & sent it back.

    Now 5 months down the track we’re packing, getting ready to move & applying for a more affordable property for our family of 6. We sent our property manager a rental reference for a property we had applied for. She later phoned us & told us she won’t fill it out as we still have 13 months left on our lease. WHAT?? She then went on to tell us when we had changed the dates on the renewal, we had changed the month & not the year. So we had in fact signed up for a further 18 months. We were completely unaware of the simple (but costly) error as we were not questioned nor informed of the mistake & we didn’t receive a copy.

    She then added the only ways to end the agreement is to ‘BREAK LEASE’ which will incur fees & charges or go to court but we won’t win because it’s a legal document which has been signed by us.

    HELP!!

    Can we end the agreement if we provide proof of the original email stating we were wanting a 6 month lease?

    Reply

    • July 31, 2016 @ 2:09 pm Michael Yardney

      Unfortunately the email is not a legally binding agreement, your lease is. However your property manager was obliged to give you a copy of your signed lease.
      Similarly she should have questioned the fact that your amended lease was not the same as your emailed request

      Reply

      • July 31, 2016 @ 5:59 pm Chaz

        That’s the most annoying part of the situation & only finding out now (5 months later) makes it all the more frustrating. In your opinion, do you think it would be wise to take our case to the tribunal? Or are we better off just biting the bullet & going ahead with breaking the lease?

        Reply

        • July 31, 2016 @ 8:36 pm Michael Yardney

          Unfortunately you will have little chance at the tribunal – you have a signed please that binds both parties

          Reply

  63. September 14, 2016 @ 5:07 pm Dianna

    Hi, My lease ended and the owner choose to not renew. I have been renting for 6 years. The refund of rental bond form was signed off by the owner on final inspection for full refund. However, 4 years into the tenancy the daughter and mother swapped mortgages and the mother is now the owner of the rented property, and my last 2 year lease is in her name, however they did not change paperwork with the rta for the bond. So the mother signed the bond refund for the full amount on final inspection. As this is not the signature the rta has on file (they have the daughters) they have not released the bond and sent some paperwork to the daughter for signing. The mother has now come back after 2 weeks of signing off saying that they will be disputing the bond and claiming it all. The rta states that I cannot do anything? I had two witnesses when the owner signed off in full, but rta said they don’t accept stat declarations. Any help appreciated on what I can do

    Reply

    • September 14, 2016 @ 6:09 pm Michael Yardney

      This is something you should be discussing with your property manager – they’ll take care of it – I hope you’re not leasing directly fromt he owner – that’s when all the problems occur

      Reply

      • September 16, 2016 @ 5:49 pm Dianna

        Yep directly from the owner

        Reply

        • September 16, 2016 @ 5:56 pm Michael Yardney

          Now I understand why you’re experiencing this problem. I have always discouraged people self managing and tenants leasing directly from owners. You may have to approach the tenancy tribunal in your state

          Reply

  64. September 22, 2016 @ 5:07 pm Alex

    Hi, Our 12 month lease ended and we signed another 12 month renewal. We are needed to relocate back overseas and will be terminating our lease 1 month early. I understand I’m liable for the rent until a tenant is found and a pro-rata amount of the re-let fees, but my property manager has told I need to pay advertising fees. As they did not have to pay advertising fees for my lease renewal I don’t understand why I should be liable for this? Are they in in the right to ask for this? Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

    Reply

    • September 22, 2016 @ 7:18 pm Michael Yardney

      Yes the agent is within their rights to request you pay advertising fees – that’s how they find tenants to take over your lease. If you’re only leaving one month early it may just be easier to give notice that you’re leaving at the end of the lease and just pay the last month’s rent

      Reply

  65. October 12, 2016 @ 12:22 am Kim

    Hi,
    our lease started last november and the real estate when i signed it told me that we had to look after the lawn. It turned out he was very mistaken and the landlord wanted to mow our lawns which i have never been happy with, especially since one family member has BAD PTSD and the owners were found in the yard once and the person had a major psychological breakdown. Our lease ends on November 9th and we intend on staying for another year BUT I want to lease amended so that the owners aren’t allowed to enter the property at all. What form can I submit to stop their entering? We are in QLD.

    Reply

    • October 12, 2016 @ 10:24 am Michael Yardney

      Kim, the easiest way is to talk with your property manager and stipulate that you DO NOT want garden maintenance included and that you don’t want the owner to enter your property

      Reply

      • October 14, 2016 @ 7:04 pm kim

        We did that and now not only do they want to increase our rent but they now want to come do our lawns and gardening between 7 and 8 am!

        Reply

        • October 15, 2016 @ 7:55 am Michael Yardney

          Kim you can either not renew the lease or approach the tenancy tribunal

          Reply

  66. November 21, 2016 @ 5:22 pm Jasmine

    Hi,
    We are breaking the lease at a property in victoria. We have noticed that the landlord has advertised the property at a higher rental value than what we currently pay, which I feel is to a level that is costly in the area. Are they allowed to do this? We are concerned no one will rent the property out because its too expensive with the new advertised rental cost, and we will have to pay the price in dead rent until they can find someone for the place. So far multiple people have come to see the house and I’m worried no one has applied because its too expensive. I know this because it is in a great area and is oherwise a nice place.

    Reply

    • November 21, 2016 @ 7:10 pm Michael Yardney

      Jasmine You are correct – the owner cannot ask for more rent and expect you to be responsible for making up the rent until he finds another tenant at the higher rent. Object strongly to your property manager

      Reply

  67. November 25, 2016 @ 2:35 pm Fiona

    Hi, I’m a tenant living in a Qld mining town. We have lived here for the past 4 and half years and we have negotiated to have our rent reduced due to the current market trends and the mining downturn. Our landLord has agreed, however we had overpaid our rent by a couple of weeks past the end of the lease date. The agency is now saying the new rent will now start after that period that is on 19/12/16 even though the new lease starts starts on 5/12/16. They are saying we cannot backdate rent. Is that legal? It’s really unfair and it’s like being punished for being good tenants.

    Reply

    • November 25, 2016 @ 4:23 pm Michael Yardney

      Fiona. If you have an agreement in writing then what they are doing is incorrect. You should be Credited for the overpayment. Stand up for your rights

      Reply

  68. November 28, 2016 @ 9:13 pm Robert

    Hi Michael, I’m a new landlord in Victoria. I recently signed a 12 month lease with a single male(3 br house) and after numerous back and forths with the property manager to confirm that he would be the only inhabitant. I had written and verbal confirmation of this.
    One month later the property manager emails to say he has a friend that wants to move in and that she has valid references and i.d. Making it out that i essentially could not say no to this request. I signed and approved the lease for one occupant – do I not have any rights to refuse the increase of number of occupants on that basis?
    As a compromise i have communicated to the agent that I would be willing to have a 6 month lease with the applicant approved. The agent has come back saying the tenant does not want this and is saying that I do not want to go to vcat. I’m unsure what to do in this situation. I know the balance is in favour of the tenant and he has gone through the appropriate channel but wondering if I don’t have a say in the matter as the agent suggests? Appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

    Reply

    • November 28, 2016 @ 10:53 pm Michael Yardney

      Robert. It is unrealitic to expect that only one person would live in a 3 bedroom house. Please help me understand. What is your concern about the second tenant?

      Reply


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