What happens if I need to break my lease ?

Sometimes the right property to buy doesn’t come up at the same time as the expiry on your current lease. Or perhaps you’re building and your build is coming to an end prior to your rental lease expiring? As an ex property manager herself, Kirsty has some helpful information around what to do if you find yourself ready or wanting to buy, but your lease has not yet expired.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Talk to your property manager and give them as much notice as possible. Explain the situation to them and give them all the dates and information you can.
  2. Find out from your property manager any marketing or lease break costs you can expect to incur and budget for these. Have a read of this and check the relevant information in your state: http://tutas.org.au/factsheet/leaving-leases-early/ 
  3. Be prepared for inspections and advertising to find new tenants and present the home as well as you can to minimise the time you could be out of pocket (as you’ll likely be held rent responsible for the time when you move out until the day a new tenant moves in).  
  4. Also – do your best to find your own tenant where possible (but of course understanding that your property manager or property owner will want to vet them)!
  5. In an ideal situation a new tenant will be found to take over your lease with a minimum of fuss – but allow time, many property managers will start advertising  their properties vacant around 4 weeks out from lease expiry so that’s a good time frame to keep in mind.

And if you want to extend?

If you want to extend your lease past the current expiry but don’t want to extend for another 12 months  (say you want a few weeks or a couple of months) again that’s something that will need to be negotiated with your property manager (another good reason to have a great communicative relationship with them!) A property manager will be more likely to recommend an owner renew a lease short term if:

a)    It suits the owner, typically if your short term renewal pushes the vacating date into a busier time of year or away from a quieter time of year

b)    If you have been a model tenant until this stage (rent on time, great presentation, easy to get along with).