Breaking a Lease in QLD: A Guide for Tenants and Property Managers

So, you need to end your lease in Queensland.

Whether you’re a tenant or a property manager, this situation can be confusing and stressful.

But fear not!

This guide will break down the process for you, making it clear and easy to understand.

Understanding the Basics:

  • Breaking the lease: This simply means ending a fixed-term lease before the agreed-upon date.
  • Compensation: If you break the lease, you may be responsible for compensating the landlord for any losses incurred, such as rent until a new tenant is found.

Scenarios and Options:

As a Tenant:

  • Talk to your property manager: It’s always best to communicate openly and discuss your situation. They might be willing to work out a mutual agreement to end the lease early.
  • Notice period: If you can’t reach an agreement, you’ll need to provide a Notice of intention to leave (Form 13).
    • Be prepared to pay compensation, including:
      • Reasonable re-letting costs: Usually one week’s rent plus GST.
      • Reasonable advertising costs: If the property manager incurs them to find a new tenant.
      • Compensation for loss of rent: Until a new tenant is found or the end of the lease, whichever comes first.

As a Property Manager:

  • Minimise losses: You’re legally required to find a new tenant as soon as possible to minimise the loss of rent.
  • Options for ending the lease:
    • Mutual agreement: Discuss with the tenant and reach an agreement on an end date and any compensation.
    • Accept the Notice to Leave: You can accept the notice and start the re-letting process. You are still entitled to compensation for losses.
    • Apply to QCAT: In rare cases, if the tenant is causing significant issues, you can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to end the lease early.

Important Note: Tenants cannot be forced to leave without a QCAT order, even if the property manager wants to end the lease early.

Additional Points:

  • Student accommodation: Special rules apply if you live in student accommodation and are no longer a student. You may be required to give one month’s notice or leave earlier depending on the agreement.
  • Ending a lease for other reasons: There are other ways a lease can end, such as the lease term expiring, a breach of the lease by either party, or redevelopment of the property.
  • Seeking legal advice: If you’re unsure about your rights or obligations, it’s always recommended to seek independent legal advice.

Remember: Communication is key! Talking to your property manager or seeking legal advice can help ensure a smooth and stress-free process for ending your lease in Queensland.

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