The best-laid plans don’t always go according to the path that you set out on and changes in life circumstances can occur. It may be that you need to downsize or relocate for work or reasons outside your control.
It is possible to break your lease should you need to, however, there are requirements and costs that are associated with breaking the contract.
What are the fees
Depending on which state you are renting in will determine the costs that you may be liable for when breaking your lease. Some of these costs may include:
- A lease break fee is the equivalent of a week’s rent or more depending on how far you are through your lease agreement.
- Potential re-letting costs including letting fees and advertising costs
- Rent until a new tenant is found
When is the lease deemed broken?
It is mindful of being aware that the lease agreement is not deemed to be broken until you have moved out of the property and handed back the keys to your property manager on vacate.
Before this time, it is important to provide your property manager or landlord with the required notice to vacate the property and details of the date that you will be handing back the keys. They will then communicate with you the terms and requirements under the lease break so that you can prepare for your vacate day.
Rent is still payable on the property until the date that you hand back the keys and after this time, the relevant lease break costs will come into effect.
Do they need to show people through
The agent will usually advertise the property as soon as possible once you provide notice to vacate. They will aim to find a new tenant in the shortest possible time to minimise the costs of a vacant property.
It is important to allow access for inspections so that a new tenant can be found, which in some cases can also reduce your costs, depending on the lease break requirements in your state.
What happens if the situation is outside my control
There are sometimes extenuating circumstances that are outside your control which may deem a reduction in the lease break costs that you are liable for.
Situations that may be unavoidable may include:
- Death of co-tenant
- Acceptance of temporary crisis accommodation or a domestic violence situation
- Acceptance of social or special care housing
- Experiencing financial hardship
- Breach of the lease agreement conditions by the landlord
If you do feel that you need to break your lease agreement for any reason, reach out to our property management team who can talk you through the obligations and requirements of your tenancy before you provide notice.
When you make the choice to invest in property, it is important to recognise and be aware of the areas of compliance that you are responsible for as an investor and property owner.
There are certain safety areas in the property that need to be made safe to comply with regulations and legislation including areas relating to pools, safety switches, smoke alarms, blinds and windows, balconies, and decks as well as electricity and gas.
If your property has a pool, you will need to ensure that any fencing complies with legislation and is inspected and signed off in line with relevant local council requirements. Compliance companies will issue a certificate to show compliance or advise of work that does not meet regulations and needs addressing.
There is a requirement for smoke alarms to be tested and checked annually and to ensure that they are in working order to protect the lives of the property occupants and the property.
Smoke alarm companies can be employed to carry out these checks and repair faulty alarms, change batteries and ensure that they are working in line with legislation.
Blind cords and window locks
Open windows can pose a hazard, especially at certain heights and there are requirements to have limiters and safety devices installed in windows to protect property occupants, especially small children.
Blind cords are another area that can be hazardous with loose cords causing choking hazards and they must be secured correctly. These should be checked prior to a tenancy and at regular routine inspections or annually by a service professional.
Electricity and gas devices
A safety switch should be installed on the main switchboard to protect the property from any electrical faults and the risk of electrical fires.
Gas outlets and devices should also be checked regularly to monitor for potential leaks and efficiencies and carry out repairs to these as soon as possible to prevent hazards and protect the property occupants.
Balconies and decks
Over time timber decking and balconies exposed to the elements can weather and wear. If not maintained, they can fall into a state of disrepair, and they must be maintained to the regulations set by the Building Code of Australia and the associated safety standards.
Any maintenance should be completed to keep balconies and decks up to code and install new measures like railings to comply with the relevant safety standards, protecting the property occupants and any guests.
Each state is different, and the thought of compliance may seem like a lot of work; however, employing a qualified and experienced property manager who has industry contacts and works with compliance trades can remove this stress from your property investment.
Talk with our property managers about how they can help minimise your risks as a property investor and ensure that your property meets compliance requirements.
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