Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

Part of the Canberra community
for over 30 years

Unreasonable tenant agreement?

By Fiorella - 25 October 2012 16

Hi guys,

I’m new to Canberra and is in the market for a room to rent. I found a place I like, but the rental agreement requires the tenant to continue paying rent until a replacement tenant is found, if the tenant wants to move out earlier than the agreed fixed term.

I know that renting is competitive in Canberra with people moving in and out all the time. Isn’t the usual practice to provide 3 weeks notice? Is the term of the agreement reasonable?

Cheers.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
16 Responses to
Unreasonable tenant agreement?
Watson 10:03 am 26 Oct 12

HenryBG said :

troll-sniffer said :

but the landlord is still bound to give 26 weeks notice unless they claim they are moving in or performing renovations.

In other words no landlord is ever required to give 26 weeks notice because they can substitute for that notice period any old story they like.

One of the most pathetically useless chunks of legislation ever. Which clown wrote it?

I wonder if this is true? The tenancy union appears to differ, but I find it a bit vague too…

HenryBG 8:05 am 26 Oct 12

troll-sniffer said :

but the landlord is still bound to give 26 weeks notice unless they claim they are moving in or performing renovations.

In other words no landlord is ever required to give 26 weeks notice because they can substitute for that notice period any old story they like.

One of the most pathetically useless chunks of legislation ever. Which clown wrote it?

taninaus 2:25 am 26 Oct 12

actually the notice period after when the fixed term has expired is 21 days (just had it happen on one of mine).

As the others have said the clause is applicable within the fixed term that ll parties reasonable expect that you would continue to occupy the property, if you think you won’t stay that long then ask for a shorter term. and yes they can ask it in part because the market is tight in Canberra.

troll-sniffer 7:52 pm 25 Oct 12

geoffappleby said :

Doesn’t unusual to me at all – I’ve never seen a lease _not_ have that clause.
It only counts for the initial lease period. After that time, you can leave at any time (with notice) (and they can boot you at any time…again with notice.)

Not quite, after the lease has ended and the tenancy is periodic, usually monthly, the tenant need only give 4 weeks (?) notice but the landlord is still bound to give 26 weeks notice unless they claim they are moving in or performing renovations. It’s rarely a problem for either party but it does offer a tenant a certain degree of security that they don’t have to be upended willy nilly at the whim of the owner. After all, rented or not, a home is still a home to a lot of people.

screaming banshee 7:25 pm 25 Oct 12

Standard everywhere, move along

deejay 2:42 pm 25 Oct 12

Of course it’s reasonable. Let’s say you move out in the first week of December. You signed a lease in May and I thought I had a tenant til next May. What with Christmas and everything, let’s say I don’t get a tenant moving in til the end of January. Should I have to front 1-2 months of mortgage payments without income, because you chose the worst possible time to break your contract and thought you should only be held accountable for three weeks of it?

NoImRight 2:41 pm 25 Oct 12

DUB said :

Very reasonable agreement.
You can find more info here:
http://www.tenantsact.org.au/RentingAdvice

My concern is that you like the place, but thinking of breaking a lease in advance. Have you done that before?

Id be wondering that last part myself.

zorro29 2:38 pm 25 Oct 12

The standard term for notice is 30 days.

Now, in terms of breaking a lease, you need to meet the reasonable expenses incurred by the landlord in breaking that lease. Unfortunately, that can entail paying rent until a new tenant moves in. As other posters mentioned though, it’s usually not a problem to find someone in Canberra.

If you do break the lease though and someone else moves in immediately, make sure they don’t ping you for lease ending fees and 30 days of rent (this is not legal)

This website will help: http://www.tenantsact.org.au/rentingAdvice/tenancy-factsheets/Ending-a-Tenancy-and-Breaking-a-Lease

It is good to familiarise with your rights. But most landlords who are on the up-and-up should abide by the law.

devils_advocate 2:23 pm 25 Oct 12

The OP says they’re looking for a ‘room’. I took that to mean either a) it’s some kind of agreement with the tenant who is on the lease, with whatever degree of formality or b) it’s a situation where there is more than one person on the lease, and one of the outgoing tenants is transferring their room/obligations to the incoming tenant (the OP).

If a) then it is really a matter for discussion with the tenant from whom you are subleasing, flexibility comes at the expense of having less security of tenure. If b) then you are taking on the normal requirements of any tenant leasing a property during the fixed term of the lease.

Flossie 2:14 pm 25 Oct 12

As per above comments, this is a bog standard clause that applies to breaking the lease instead of staying for the full period a tenant has contracted to stay. Sometimes you will also need to pay for advertising costs and other things related to securing a new tenant.

The clause works to protect the landlord’s interests. If you have signed a lease (contract) undertaking to pay rent for say 52 weeks and then you ditch them after say 30 weeks, the landlord is entitled to not be disadvantaged by your bailing on the agreement. So you pay until someone else starts paying.

On the upside for lease breaker and owners is the low vacancy rates in canberra at the moment. It is unlikely that a place in reasonable repair will take long to be re-tenanted.

Good luck with your house hunting.

enrique 2:08 pm 25 Oct 12

Have a read of the current ACT Residential Tenancies Act…

http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/1997-84/default.asp

http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/1997-84/current/pdf/1997-84.pdf

You are interested in the following Divisions 4.3, 4.6 & 4.7.

If you terminate your fixed term tenancy agreement without a valid reason, as specified by the Act, you have essentially abandoned the property. If that is the case then you could be liable to pay compensaton to the lessor for loss of rent (up to the value of 25 week’s rent) + cost of advertising (up to the value of 1 week’s rent).

Sensibly though, if you simply have a conversation with your landlord with enough notice to enable them to advertise and find a suitable new tennant then everybody should be pretty happy. It comes down to common sense – give people enough notice and time to do the reasonable thing.

jessieduck 2:07 pm 25 Oct 12

Sounds pretty standard to me.

geoffappleby 2:00 pm 25 Oct 12

Doesn’t unusual to me at all – I’ve never seen a lease _not_ have that clause.
It only counts for the initial lease period. After that time, you can leave at any time (with notice) (and they can boot you at any time…again with notice.)

DUB 2:00 pm 25 Oct 12

Very reasonable agreement.
You can find more info here:
http://www.tenantsact.org.au/RentingAdvice

My concern is that you like the place, but thinking of breaking a lease in advance. Have you done that before?

smcphill 2:00 pm 25 Oct 12

That’s a fairly standard clause (in the A.C.T., at least). In my (limited) experience, it’s not terribly difficult to find a replacement tenant – there are plenty of people looking to rent all year around, mostly.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site