Ending the tenancy
IMPORTANT NOTICE: There has been important temporary changes to both the Residential Tenancies Act 1999 and the Business Tenancies (Fair Dealings) Act 2003 that may impact the advice and information provided on this page.
It is important that you first read a full explanation of these changes before you read or download information from this page. The new changes can be found here. If you need help determining how these changes affect your personal circumstances, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on (08) 8999 1999 or 1800 019 319.
Consumer Affairs provides advice to tenants and landlord/agents of residential properties in the Northern Territory. The legislative rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords are outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act.
The landlord/tenant relationship is usually harmonious but difficulties do arise, and sometimes landlords and tenants have different ideas of their respective rights and responsibilities.
Ending a tenancy
Generally when you or the landlord make a decision to end the tenancy you must give notice in writing. You can hand the notice to the landlord or the real estate agent in person or fax it to the agent or post it via ordinary mail. It must:
- be in writing;
- state the address of the place that you are renting;
- be signed by the tenant or all the tenants (those people whose names are on the lease or residential tenancies agreement);
- allow the right amount of notice (see below for details);
- give the date when you intend to move out;
- give full reasons for ending the lease.
A landlord cannot end the tenancy during the fixed term unless you fail to pay rent or break other terms of the lease.
How much notice do you give to end a lease
If either you or the landlord want to end the lease at the end of the fixed term (this is the initial term of the lease) 14 days written notice must be given.
If the fixed term of the lease has ended and you are in a continuing a periodic agreement, you must give at least 14 days notice. The landlord must give 42 days notice under these circumstances. If the place is sold, then the landlord must still give you 42 days notice in writing.