Notice to vacate v finding new rental to move out

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by robbie_p, 18th Mar, 2019.

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  1. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

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    Hi All,

    The owner of the property we are renting has decided not to renew our lease as their father is going to be moving into the property and we are required to vacate at the end of our lease, being 17th May.

    The property manager made it very clear to us that the owner is not willing for us to vacate prior to our lease termination date, which is the 17th May.

    My understating is that if we manage to find a new rental a few weeks before our current lease ends, we would be liable for this rental, which could be a lot of money to burn, which we not really in position to do.

    That said, as the owner will hold us liable for rental should we vacate earlier (i.e. 2 weeks), this really only leaves us with the option to vacate / move into our new property within a few days our our lease termination date, which is always tricky and limits our options.

    Had I been vacating and a new tenant potentially moving in, the property manager could advertise the available date of the property close to the move in date of our new property, which is not the case (as owners father in moving in).

    When I explained this to the RTA, they told me that the owner, in order to hold me liable for the rental for vacating early, would need to do everything reasonably possible to minimize the loss of rental (i.e. advertising and finding a tenant to move in earlier), however, as the owners father is moving into the property, this would not be an option.

    What is the best way for me to approach this situation where the owner has asked us to vacate, but not willing for us vacate earlier (should we find a new rental).


    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    Robbie
     
  2. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Well-Known Member

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    Hi Robbie,

    I think you already know the answer but in summary unless you can successfully claim hardship through QCAT, and the Lessor won't mutually agree to terminate your lease prematurely without compensation, you're liable to pay all reasonable costs etc that would be incurred by the Lessor for your breach of contract, namely: let fee, advertising costs, compensation of rent until the property is relet, just to name the basics.

    In answer to your question, it would seem the Lessor has made their intentions clear - they wish to re-occupy the property, so finding replacement Tenants to mitigate loss of rent isn't an option, however with that said, you would have good grounds to argue the only compensation payable would be compensation of rent to the end date of your current lease/notice to leave period, as they have said they won't be re-letting it which means no let fee or advertising etc.

    A tenant in your position may start looking for their next rental now in advance keeping in mind the start date to be very close to the current end date to at least mitigate the amount of overlapping rent being paid, and communicating this with prospective property managers to see if they can assist you in finding a suitable property that works with your timeline.




    Ending an agreement early (breaking a lease)
    If a tenant or property manager/owner ends a fixed term agreement before the end date without grounds (i.e. without sufficient reason) they are breaking the agreement. This is also known as breaking the lease.

    A tenancy agreement is a legally binding agreement. If it is broken, compensation will probably need to be paid.

    Compensation
    Money may be owed to the property manager/owner as a result of breaking the lease. This is considered compensation.

    Example: the loss of rent until the property is re-let or until the end of the tenancy agreement.

    The tenant may also have to pay reasonable re-letting and advertising costs.

    Any compensation, or payment options for the amount, should be discussed between the tenant and the property manager/owner (this could include how the bond is to be paid out).

    The property manager/owner must mitigate any loss associated with breaking the lease.

    Excessive hardship
    If the tenant or property manager/owner is experiencing excessive hardship (e.g. serious financial or health issues) they may make an urgent application to QCAT for an order terminating the agreement. However, QCAT may also order compensation to be paid even if the agreement is terminated.

    Tenant – 'I want to break my lease.'
    • Always inform the property manager/owner in writing of your intention to leave.
    • You may be asked to pay:
      • reasonable re-letting costs (usually 1 week’s rent plus GST)
      • reasonable advertising costs (if incurred), and
      • compensation for loss of rent (until a new tenant is found or until the end date of the agreement whichever happens first).
    • The property manager/owner is legally required to minimise any costs associated with breaking the lease. If you feel they are not mitigating this loss, contact the RTA for assistance.
    Options
    • You and the property manager/owner mutually agree in writing to end the agreement early on a specific date, or
    • Give the property manager/owner a Notice of intention to leave (Form 13) and leave the property (you will probably need to pay compensation), or
    • Get your property manager/owner’s approval to transfer your interest in the property. If you have paid a bond you will need to fill out a Change of bond contributors (Form 6), or
    • Apply to QCAT to end the agreement due to excessive hardship (if you have evidence to support the application).
     
    Last edited: 18th Mar, 2019
  3. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated.

    So.. lets say I found a new rental 4 weeks before the end of my current lease ends, I give notice, would I be liable for the 4 weeks rent? i.e. around $2000
     
  4. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    Your situation sucks and it may seem like he has you in a corner, but this the point of a lease!

    If you can get out of it legally, then go for it but...
     
  5. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

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    How about a look for properties available just before or after my lease termination?
     
  6. bunkai

    bunkai Well-Known Member

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    The best way is for you to line up a new property lease close to the end of your current lease. At the moment you don't even know there is a problem.

    Understand being a little aggrieved because you would have liked more flexibility (been there) but the best overall outcome is the above.
     
  7. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Well-Known Member

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    If they are not letting you to move out earlier, are they willing for you to extend a bit? Month of May may not have as many rentals as Early in the year, so if you can push to mid-year you might have more chance.

    Also if you widen your search area and type,you will have more options. Would suggest you focus on searching for now and worry about other things later.
     
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  8. pinewood

    pinewood Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it can be helped with a slight overlap of paying double rent and your landlord only needs to provide you adequate notice, he is not obliged to compensate you for the inconvenience of you having to move out and find a new place.

    You need time to move out and move in to the new place and time to clean the existing place. Best you look for a place that allows you to move within the last week of your current lease. I had tenants move out to another property about a week before the lease ended and in the last week they repainted doors and steamed cleaned and everything was back in order 2-3 days before the lease ended which was great for me as a landlord.
     
  9. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    Move out whenever you find something, but pay until the end of lease. That's what you're contracted to do.
     
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  10. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

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    Is there a limit as to how much you can be liable for rent if you vacate early? If i find a rental 4 weeks before termination, am i liable to repay all 4 weeks?

    Please keep in mind, as mentioned before, the property wont be re-let.
     
  11. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Generally the answer to that question is YES. But when you find the perfect new home four weeks early, you can ask the owner if his father would like to move in early. Perhaps he will and the LL will give you a pardon. Otherwise, you are contracted to keep paying until the end of lease date.
     
  12. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Negotiate with the new agent for a later start date to the lease to minimise your overlap.

    You will require some overlap to allow a final clean after the removalists.
     
  13. PMC Property

    PMC Property Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle, Toowoomba Business Member

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    The scenario you are in is not strange or unusual, even given the fact it is not being rented out again. Nearly every tenant faces this scenario, paying an overlap of rent is just the "cost of doing business" being a tenant in the same way vacancy can be the "cost of doing business" as a landlord. Each party just has to do their best to minimise the cost of these, but it is almost impossible to remove the cost all together.

    Even if it was being rented again, the owner is not obliged to take the first application they see regardless of quality just to release you from the tenancy obligation. Being a tenant has a lot of advantages, unfortunately this is one of the disadvantages. Looking for flexibility to minimise your cost is perfectly fine, but this will be moreso in working with your new agent in terms of lease commencement as opposed to trying to reduce the contractual obligation you are currently under.

    - Luke
     
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  14. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated.

    Got a call from the agent.. there going to be delays with the owners father moving into the property so they have asked if we would be willing to stay on an extra 3 months..

    I guess its not like they will be able to re-let for 3 months (well it will be difficult), but it now gives us a bigger window to look and minimize double rental.

    Hopefully ball back in our court now.
     
  15. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Arent you just extending the lease by 3 months? Youll still be liable for remaining rent.
     
  16. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps you should go to a month by month lease?
     
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  17. bunkai

    bunkai Well-Known Member

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    Which should mean you don't have to sign any new lease and continue with the current one going automatically to month to month. Check though ;)
     
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  18. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    If you don’t sign another three month lease and go month to month you have way more flexibility.
     
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  19. Michelle Evans

    Michelle Evans Well-Known Member

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    Just don’t sign a new 3 month lease (note, they can’t force you to sign a lease... they could try and bluff you and say they’ll enforce the original vacate day if You don’t sign, but it’s unlikely they would follow through with that given they would unlikely be able to short term release and therefore lose money regardless)
     
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  20. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

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    This nails it. Every tenant is faced with this situation.

    You could break lease, and because they are unable to mitigate your loss by securing a new tenant, they effectively have to release you from your lease commitments- but that's a dirty trick and you wouldn't expect a reference afterwards.

    I think a fair compromise is to let it fall onto a periodic tenancy after the current fixed term expiry, so you've got plenty of flexibility during that period. The agent might be a little miffed that you wont sign a three month lease, but that's your prerogative if you do or don't.
     
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