Over the course of any tenancy the personal circumstances of a tenant can (and often does) change.  Loss of employment, change of work location, illness within families and other circumstances can lead to a tenant requesting the termination of a lease before its expiry date.  However, simply requesting the termination of a lease isn’t necessarily going to lead to a successful outcome.  Tenants need to be aware of the law around this issue and be prepared to work with the property owner and rental agency to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome. 

Standard term 7 in the Queensland tenancy agreement (lease) outlines the procedures when a tenant wishes to terminate their lease before its expiry date.  Amongst other information we highlight the following excerpt: 

"Costs apply to the early ending of fixed term agreement.

  1. This clause applies if-
    1. This agreement is a fixed term agreement and
    2. The tenant terminates it before the term ends in a way not permitted under the Act.
  2. The tenant must pay the reasonable costs incurred by the lessor in reletting the premises."

So, what does that mean in general terms?  Put simply, if the outgoing tenant can’t terminate the lease in a way permitted under the Act, they will be required to pay compensation to the owner to cover their reasonable costs for reletting the property, in addition to the normal weekly rental amount until a new tenant is found. 

In having a fixed term agreement in place, the property owner has the security of knowing their income from the home is locked in for the specified period.  If a tenant simply vacated the premises then the property owner could experience significant financial losses until a new tenant is found. 

Likewise, if a tenant simply vacates a home without consulting with the owner and property manager they could find themselves incurring significant compensation costs.  Where communication between all parties is open and transparent then proper planning can help minimise costs. 

Another consideration for all parties is the return of the rental bond (all, part or none)  The Bond would have been lodged with the Residential Tenancies Authority at the start of the tenancy.  It’s held there until the tenant vacates the premises and a thorough Exit Property Inspection and Report is completed.  Any matters requiring attention are discussed with the outgoing tenant along with any options giving them sufficient time to rectify the problems.  After all issues are rectified the property manager will arrange the refund of the bond on behalf of the property owner. 

Should a dispute arise during this process, either party still has the option of seeking assistance through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

Simply making the decision to leave a tenancy early does not abrogate the tenants responsibility to continue paying rent, but negotiating in good faith can often achieve an outcome that everyone can live with!

This blog is intended to give you a broad understanding of the issues surrounding a request to terminiate a lease before the expiry date.  It is not professional legal advice.  Our property management team led by Bronwyn Evans are focused on tailoring rental and tenancy solutions to meet your needs, and keep the experience as stress free as possible. 

McAdam & Turnbull Realty are your local real estate professionals and property management specialists in Toowoomba and nearby surrounds.  You can follow our Principal and agent Lachlan Evans at or view our current rental and sale listings at and LIKE us on Facebook @  

This publication covers real estate, property market, finance and legal related issues in a general way. It is intended for general information purposes only and should not be regarded as professional finance or legal advice. McAdam & Turnbull Realty recommends that professional legal and/or finance advice should be obtained before taking any action on the basis of the general information presented in this publication.

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