Breaking a Lease FAQs

James from Miami has a question…

[blockquote]”I want to break my lease as I have a great job opportunity interstate. The agent said I have to find someone to take over my lease agreement, is there any other way around this and how do I chose who is going to live in the unit? I work away and don’t have time to advertise and vet a new tenant.”[/blockquote]

James, the questions I have for you are, when does your lease expire and have you called the RTA for advice? Sounds like the agent is unwilling to help you solve the problem.


There are only 2 people who can terminate at tenancy, that is the owner of the property or a tribunal member for QCAT. If you have approached the owner and they you cannot reach an agreement by mutual consent, your alternative is to have the agent find a new tenant to move into the property.

Firstly you need to fill in an agreement to terminate a fixed term tenancy paperwork with the agent, this gives them authority to find a tenant on your behalf, the costs involved should be 1 weeks rent plus GST, an advertising fee and you will be responsible for rent up to the date the new tenants move in. You will need to allow at least 3 days between tenancies for the agent to finalize your tenancy. You can advertise yourself for a new tenant but be careful, you will need to get them to fill in an application form and give it to the agent to be approved by the owner.

Ensure you finalize your agreement fully, hand all keys back and receive your bond form signed so you are happy your tenancy has ended. Being present at the final inspection will enable your agent to let you know if there are any issues that need attention.

I have seen some horror stories of friends leaving friends in properties and it turning to custard in the future. It’s a great way to lose friends.

Alternatively, you can apply to the tribunal for a termination if you feel that you cannot carry out your obligations of the tenancy. If you are unable to find work here on the coast or some such thing. The process involves applying to QCAT with the correct forms, it involves a fee and an appearance before the tribunal to hear your case. Call the RTA for advice on this matter if you have any further questions.