A quick guide to exiting a rental

Just as there’s a process involved in moving into a rental property, there’s a checklist when it comes to moving out.

Sufficient notice must be provided by either the rental owner or occupier, the home must be left clean and tidy, and all going well, the rental bond will be returned.

So, let’s look at what’s involved when it comes to exiting a rental.

Sufficient notice

When it comes to exiting a rental property, sufficient notice is required, and the length of this period varies from state to state, and also depending on the situation.

If the periodic rental agreement is coming to an end, and either the property owner or renter do not wish to renew it for a further term, then this notice must be provided in writing.

As Domain explains, the notice periods are generally as follows for each state and territory:

  • NSW: 21 days
  • VIC: 28 days
  • QLD: 14 days
  • WA: 21 days
  • SA: 21 days’ written notice or one month’s written notice if the rent is paid monthly
  • TAS: 14 days
  • ACT: Three weeks
  • NT: 14 days

There are exceptions to these timelines, so it pays to speak with your property manager about your intentions, and also consult the relevant legislation in your state or territory.

Meanwhile, if you intend to exit prior to the end of a periodic agreement, you will need to give notice that you intend to ‘break the agreement’.

In this instance there may be additional cost involved for the rental occupier, such as re-advertising the property for rent, and rental fees.

Returning the property to its original condition

Once notice has been given that you intend to exit the property, you will need to return it to its original condition.

This includes thoroughly cleaning the home, replacing any lightbulbs that aren’t working, having any damage repaired, and leaving the garden or outdoor areas neat and tidy.

Carpets may also need to be cleaned, and if there has been a pet in the property, you may need to organise pest control.

Fear wear and tear

While the property should be left neat, tidy and in a similar condition to how you found it, the rental laws also recognise that properties age over time and areas of a home might deteriorate.

This is known as fair wear and tear.

As the Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority notes fair wear and tear “is what happens during normal use of the property and changes that occur with ageing”. 

“The property can also deteriorate over time through exposure to the environment.

“Dirt, grime, grease and damage is not considered wear and tear. Damages caused by an approved pet are also not considered fair wear and tear.”   

Consult your entry condition report

The best way to ensure your property is handed over in the same condition as when you started a rental agreement is to consult your entry condition report.

This invaluable document is filled out at the beginning of a rental agreement by both the property manager and the rental occupier and is a checklist of each area of the home, including any pre-existing damage.

Handover and bond

On the date your agreement ends, the rental occupier will need to return all keys to the property and ensure all their personal effects have been removed.

The property manager will then inspect the property and, all going well, the bond will be released and returned to the rental occupiers.

How we can assist

Our experienced property managers pride themselves on establishing great relationships with both rental occupiers and owners.

We manage every property as if it were our own and you can learn more about our property management services here.

Alternatively, if you are looking to rent a property, you can view the properties we currently have available here.