If your lease is coming up for renewal, it’s worth considering how you want to continue your rental agreement. If you’re planning to roll onto periodic, here’s what you should know:
Periodic vs Fixed-term
A fixed-term tenancy is for a set amount of time – for instance, 6 or 12 months. This term is set out in your lease agreement. Once your initial fixed-term ends, you and your landlord can agree to a further fixed-term lease.
If a further term isn’t set, your lease reverts to what’s called a periodic (month-to-month) agreement. This continues until you or your landlord gives notice.
This type of agreement has no predetermined end date and rolls over each month.
You might also like:
> Rent increases: How how much can my landlord increase the rent by, and how often?
> 9 surefire signs you’ve found an application-worthy rental property
> How to score free (or cheap) stuff for your new home
What are the perks of being on a periodic tenancy?
The key advantage to being on a periodic tenancy is flexibility. You can dictate when you want to end your agreement with a shortened notice period.
Neither you nor your landlord are locked into a fixed-term, so you can give notice if you feel the property is no longer a good fit, or if your living situation changes.
There’s also less paperwork involved. Once a periodic tenancy agreement kicks in, there’s no need to complete more paperwork and new agreements each year to renew your lease.
You can also usually switch to a fixed-term lease down the track if the landlord’s happy with you staying on and you have a change of heart.
Are there any downsides to a periodic lease?
Arguably one of the biggest benefits of a fixed-term lease is being able to lock in the rent you’re paying, which can make it easier to manage your budget.
But if you’re on a periodic agreement, your landlord has more flexibility with raising the rent. That said, more notice is required to do that – usually 60 days.
You may also have fewer property options on a periodic agreement. Many owners prefer their tenants to be on a fixed-term agreement to avoid finding themselves with a vacant property and no rental income.
How long can a periodic agreement last?
Periodic agreements can run for an indefinite amount of time; there is no set finishing date. Most of these leases run on a month-by-month basis.
You might also like:
> Glow up your rental application with these 3 financial hacks
> What happens after I apply for a rental property?
> 6 things you can do today to score a pet-friendly home
How much notice do I have to give to end a periodic agreement?
No matter where you live, the notice period will depend on the reasons you wish to terminate the agreement. These notice periods are designed to give your landlord enough time to find a tenant.
To end your periodic agreement with no specified reason in New South Wales, you must give your landlord a minimum of 21 days’ notice.
For more information on minimum notice periods, visit NSW Fair Trading.
If you have a periodic agreement in Victoria and want to move out, you’ll need to give written notice of intention to vacate.
In most cases, the minimum required notice period is 28 days.
For more information on minimum notice periods, visit Consumer Affairs Victoria.
To end your tenancy in Queensland, you must give your lessor/agent a Notice of intention to leave (Form 13).
If you wish to end your tenancy without grounds, the notice period is two weeks.
To ensure you give enough notice, start counting from the day you expect the lessor/agent to receive your notice and include the handover day. If you send your notice by post, allow extra time for postal delivery.
For more information on minimum notice periods, visit the Queensland RTA website.
In WA, you can end a periodic tenancy agreement without having to provide a reason, but you must give your lessor a minimum of 21 days’ written notice.
For more information on minimum notice periods, visit Consumer Protection WA.
If you’re renting in SA, you must give at least 21 days’ written notice, or one month’s written notice if your rent is paid monthly.
Your landlord can agree to accept less notice, but this should be in writing.
For more information on minimum notice periods, visit the SA Government website.
Love the property you’re in? If you wouldn’t mind staying for another six to 12 months, there is no real reason not to opt for a fixed-term agreement.
Be aware that the property owner might decide they want a tenant on a fixed-term and end your lease if you decide not to sign again. But if you like the flexibility of a periodic lease, give it a go! It could make all the difference if you have a move coming up in future.
Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.