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When Your Lease Ends

Know Your Lease End Date:

Be aware of when your rental agreement concludes and the rent payment period.


Returning Keys:

Your lease ends when you vacate the property and return the keys. Rent must be paid until the end of the notice period or longer if you still have the keys. Return the keys promptly after moving out.


Ending a Rental Agreement:

  • Giving notice

  • Ending an agreement by mutual consent

  • Transferring your lease to someone

If you need to end your lease before the fixed term and none of the options apply, may asked to pay 'lease break' costs.


Removing Modifications:

If you made modifications (e.g., picture hooks), you must remove them and restore the property to its original state, except for fair wear and tear. Exceptions include:

  • Landlord states restoration is not needed

  • An agreement exists that restoration is unnecessary

Failure to restore the property may lead to claims against your bond or compensation claims at VCAT.


Cleaning:

Leave the property in a reasonably clean condition. Professional cleaning is not required if the property is already reasonably clean, even if stated in your lease.


Professional cleaning may be required if:

  • The property was professionally cleaned before your move-in, and you were informed

  • Professional cleaning is needed to restore the property to its pre-lease condition, considering fair wear and tear.


Damage:

Avoid damaging the property and common areas. Normal wear and tear (e.g., worn carpet) is not considered damage. If the landlord claims damage, they may request repairs or compensation. VCAT considers depreciation and property age in its decisions.


Keep Evidence:

Take photos and videos of the property before returning the keys to document its condition. A witness inspection can also be helpful.



Final Inspection:

The landlord or agent must complete an "End of Rental Agreement" condition report within 10 days of your lease end. Attend the inspection to ensure accuracy.


Your Bond:

Start the bond return process promptly. You can claim your bond directly with the RTBA. A joint claim with the landlord may expedite the process.


Goods Left Behind:

If you left items behind, the landlord must keep them safe and arrange for their return. Contact the landlord or agent promptly to retrieve your belongings.


Utilities:

Disconnect utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet) on your move-out date. You do not need to keep them on for the final inspection or new renter viewing. Arrange disconnections in advance as some companies require notice.


Redirect Mail:

Fill out a form at any post office or the Australia Post website to redirect your mail. A small fee and identification are required.


Forwarding Address:

Provide a forwarding address to the landlord and RTBA for future contact. It can be a P.O. box or care of family or friends. Without a forwarding address, you might miss important notices if the landlord makes claims against your bond or compensation.



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