Communtity Law Manual | Tenancy & housing | The end of a fixed-term tenancy: Reaching the agreed end date

Moving out: When and how tenancies end

The end of a fixed-term tenancy: Reaching the agreed end date

When does a fixed-term tenancy end?

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, ss 50, 60A-60C

A fixed-term tenancy of 90 days (three months) or less finishes on the end date that’s specified in the agreement.

A fixed-term tenancy of more than 90 days automatically continues as a new indefinite (periodic) tenancy after the end date of the fixed term, unless:

  • you and the landlord enter into a new agreement or extend the existing one, or
  • you or the landlord give written notice to the other that you intend not to continue with the tenancy. This notice has to be given not later than 21 days (three weeks) before the end date of the fixed term, but not earlier than 90 days before the end date.

Can a fixed-term tenancy be ended early?

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, ss 50, 66

You can’t give notice to end a fixed-term tenancy early – you’re legally bound to keep paying the rent until the end of the fixed term.

You can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the tenancy ended early if there’s been an unexpected (“unforeseen”) change in your situation – losing your job, for example – that means you’ll suffer “severe hardship” if the length of the tenancy isn’t reduced. But the hardship you would suffer must be greater than the hardship the landlord would suffer by having the tenancy end early.

If the Tenancy Tribunal does agree to reduce the term, it can also order you to pay the landlord reasonable compensation to cover any loss or damage they’ll be caused by the tenancy ending early.

Your landlord can also apply to have the tenancy ended early because of unexpected hardship. You and the landlord can agree to end a fixed-term tenancy early.

back to top
Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out LoudPress Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out LoudPress Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out LoudScreen Reader Support