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Communtity Law Manual | Tenancy & housing | Your obligations at the end of the tenancy

Moving out: When and how tenancies end

Your obligations at the end of the tenancy

Your responsibilities when you move out

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, s 40(1)(e), Case: Tenancy Tribunal 4081393

When your tenancy comes to an end, you must:

  • move out and take all your things with you
  • leave the place reasonably clean and tidy, including taking away all your rubbish (but you don’t have to leave the place any cleaner or tidier than it was when you moved in)
  • leave all the furniture, appliances and so on (“chattels”) that the landlord provided with the house or flat (these should be listed in the tenancy agreement) – you also have to replace any standard light bulbs that have blown
  • return the keys to the landlord.

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, ss 62–62F

If you leave some of your things behind, there are rules the landlord has to follow for dealing with them. Food and other things that won’t last can be thrown out straight away. With other things, the landlord has to try to contact you to arrange for you to pick them up. If the landlord can’t reach you or you don’t pick up your things, the landlord can usually get rid of them or sell them.

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