Photo: iStock/StockImages_AT.

Renting a property in Western Australia and curious to know what’s involved in breaking your lease agreement? Here are some costs to keep in mind.

In Western Australia, ending your residential tenancy agreement is known as ‘termination.’

So what happens if you want to break your lease before the time is up in WA?

I’m renting on a periodic lease.

If you rent a property in WA on a periodic (or month-to-month) lease, you need to provide 21 days notice in writing to your property manager or landlord. Your lease will then end in 21 days.

Note: If you’re doing this by post, it’s best to add on a couple of extra days just to be sure. If you provide notice by email, it’s a good idea to follow up and confirm your notice has been received.

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I’m renting in a fixed-term lease.

Fixed-term leases are a bit different. There’s no automatic right to termination like you have with periodic leases.

As a tenant on a fixed-term lease, you should ask the owner’s permission (via your property manager if it’s being managed that way).

You’ll typically find the owner will agree to termination at a point in time when an alternative (new) tenant commences a new lease. Generally speaking, the owner will look for a simple swap with minimal cost.

If the owner of your property can see you’re able to move out smoothly with new tenants able to move in straight away, they may agree to a no-cost break lease. Remember: They are under no obligation to do this.

Your Residential Tenancy Agreement is a binding, legal contract. The property owner is entitled to ensure their financial position is no worse off due to you breaking your tenancy agreement.

This also means the owner is entitled to claim compensation for any loss they might incur due to the break lease breach.

You may come across fees like:

  • continuing to pay the rent until a new tenant is found
  • continuing to pay all utility accounts until a new tenant is found
  • the difference in rent if the property is re-leased at a further cost
  • covering the cost of advertising for new tenants
  • a final bond inspection fee

So, if you’re thinking of breaking your fixed-term lease, only do so if you have compelling reasons. Remember to factor in the possible costs of that decision too!


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