Moving Out

Leaving your rental property? Follow these simple steps and protect your interests.

It may be possible to end your lease without penalty, but this depends on the type of agreement.

If you have a Fixed Term agreement, you cannot break the lease without penalty, unless you come to an agreement with the landlord. These are the possible costs to you from a broken fixed term lease.

Don't want to renew your Fixed Term lease? You must give your landlord notice of termination at least 28 days before the end of the lease, otherwise your lease continues as a periodic agreement.

Although a fixed term lease can be assigned to another person who is willing to take over the property, we recommend that you start a new lease instead. With a new lease, you avoid complications regarding liability for damages and bond refunds.

If you have a Periodic agreement (no end-date on lease), then you are required to give 21 days' written notice of your intention to leave, or one month's notice if the rent is paid monthly. If you are a Rooming House resident with a periodic agreement, you need to give one day's notice of your intention to leave.

Here's a handy End of Tenancy Checklist.

You are entitled to a full refund of your bond at the end of your lease, if you return the property in a reasonable condition, and there are no outstanding payments (eg. rent, repairs, cleaning). Your usage of utilities (electricity, water and gas) can be calculated by your landlord by reading the meters on your last day.

Exit inspection
Before the exit inspection, you need to empty the property of your possessions, clean it thoroughly and leave it in the condition you found it. Otherwise, you may lose part or all of your bond for cleaning fees and repairs. You should not pay for normal wear of things in the property. This is covered by your rent.

Professional cleaning is not compulsory (eg. carpets, windows), even if it is a condition of your lease. However, depending on the condition of the property, some professional cleaning may be advisable, eg. if you smoke or have pets indoors, etc.

International students
Avoid doing your exit inspection on the same day that you are leaving Adelaide. Although you don't need to be in Adelaide to claim your bond refund, any dispute will be difficult to deal with if you are overseas.

Remember to keep your Australian bank account open until you receive your refund. There is no need to close your Australian bank account before leaving Australia. Bond refund payments can easily be made to your Australian bank account by completing the bank details on the Bond Refund Form. Payments to overseas bank accounts will take longer and may incur a bank fee.

Bond refund claims
Once you and your landlord have completed the exit inspection, and agreed on the amount of bond money to be refunded, both of you can sign the Bond Refund Form. Alternatively, you may claim your bond refund independently.  Do this as soon as possible after vacating the property.

If your landlord does not agree to return your full bond without good reason, contact the Tenancies Branch for free advice and assistance.  

If you do not agree with the amount to be refunded, do not sign the Bond Refund Form. Remember, that you may claim your bond refund independentlyNever sign a blank document.

Remember to advise the Tenancies Branch of your new address, as soon as you move, so they can contact you.

If you are a co-tenant leaving a share-house before the end of the lease, make sure that you get your share of the bond before signing the Change of Tenant Form.

Here are a few more important things to remember when moving out of a rental property.

Ask for a reference letter from your landlord/real estate agent. This will help you secure your next rental property.

Disconnect utilities (electricity, gas and water) by contacting each service, or forward them to your new address. If the utilities accounts are not in your name, ensure that a final reading of meters is taken. If you don't do this, you may end up paying the bill for someone else.  

Don't leave your unwanted belongings behind. The landlord may charge you for the removal or storage of abandoned goods. You can find storage providers in the Yellow Pages.

Advertise your second-hand goods on campus noticeboards or through websites such as Gumtree. Avoid internet fraud by meeting the buyer in person to receive payment for your item.

Stay in contact. Organise a mail redirection with Australia Post and update your Personal Details at UniSA.

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