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Breaking a rental agreement (breaking a lease) happens when a renter leaves the property and:
If you break your lease, then you may have to pay certain costs to cover the landlord’s losses.
This might be things like the cost of advertising the property again or paying the rent until a new renter is found (if you are leaving a fixed term lease early).
These costs should be reasonably calculated and actually incurred.
If you are looking to leave a property, you should double check the law that applies to your situation. You should ensure that:
The Consumer Affairs Victoria website has more information about how to vacate your property properly to avoid accidentally breaking your lease, and also has a sample ‘Notice of intention to vacate rented premises’ that you can download, fill out and then send to your landlord/agent.
The law does provide ways of leaving a property early in certain situations - but you need to make sure you’re following the right methods for doing so to make sure your landlord can’t say you broke your lease.
These situations include:
If you think any of these situations apply to you, you should get legal advice before you take any action.
We last updated this page in July 2023. Please remember that this is only legal information. If you're thinking about taking action, you should chat to a lawyer for advice about your situation first.