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“My 6-month fixed-term lease in Perth is due to expire in December, but my property manager has been emailing me since the beginning of August asking what my intentions are at the end of the lease (early December). Am I within my right to not provide an answer until closer to the date? I understand the reason they’re asking but don’t think I’m obligated to provide an answer this far from the expiry?” (Tenant, WA)

What is an acceptable notice period at the end of your lease?

We asked Jenni Wood, the Training and Development Manager at Professionals for her advice:

Jenni said there are many logistics that need to come into play when a tenancy comes to an end, so it’s not uncommon for an owner or the property manager to ask for as much notice as possible (hence the contact from as early as August).

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“The Residential Tenancies Agreement S70A(2) states ‘Despite any other written law or a requirement under a contract, the term of a residential tenancy agreement does not end on the expiry day unless the lessor or tenant has given a notice of termination of the agreement to the other party specifying a day on which possession of the residential premises is to be delivered up by the tenant. (3) This notice must be given not later than 30 days before the possession day. (4) The possession day must not be a day earlier than the expiry day,'” she said.

“As long as you have not entered into that 30 day period prior to the expiration of the lease then that will be sufficient under the legislation.

“However, as the rental market beings to normalise and vacancy rates diminish you may wish to secure your next rental period before the expiration of the current one.”

What’s happening in the market? 

Rents in Perth are at an all-time low and there’s a big oversupply of vacant properties, so many agents and owners will try to secure advanced notice of your plans to renew or vacate – they basically want to ensure there’ll either be a tenant there continuing their lease, or they need to put plans in place to advertise for a new tenant because properties are staying vacant longer and longer in the current conditions.

A fixed-term tenancy agreement will not automatically terminate on the expiry date unless on or prior to the expiry date, either you or the lessor/property manager gives the other 30 days’ written notice of the termination.

If you wish to extend your tenancy past its expiration date, contact the owner/property manager about five or six weeks before expiry, so you can agree on the term of the tenancy to be renewed.

If you haven’t given the owner/property manager notice to vacate (and you’re within that 30-day period), you’ll simply be rolled over onto a periodic tenancy.

To change this to a fixed-term agreement, you’ll need to contact your owner/property manager and request that they put onto a fixed-term (which will mean you sign on for another 6 or 12 months, typically).

Have a question you would like to see answered here? Let us know!

Jenni Wood
Jenni Wood

Jenni Wood is the Western Australian Regional Assessor with Harcourts Real Estate Training Centre (HRETC). With over 30 years of industry experience, Jenni is a Licensed Real Estate Agent and holds a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment. She has worked with HRETC since July 2019. Before starting her role as the state's Regional Assessor, Jenni was the Academy Trainer with Harcourts Western Australia. She previously worked with REIWA's Property Management Network Committee as the co-chair between 2009-2019 and as Training & Development Manager for Professionals State Service Centre for WA and NT.