How to Get out of Rent Agreement with out Losing Too Much Money?

Hi all,

I am in QLD and I have been fortunate enough to purchase a house. However, my rent agreement where I still am expires in May and I am moving into my new house at the beginning of February.

I have done the right thing with the real estate agent where I am living and have given him 55 days notice.

Now apparently his attitude changed on the phone, I have to pay $200 in advertising fees, a weeks extra rent + gst and if they can't find anyone, I still have to continue to pay rent up until my contract ends.

I am an honest person and I am trying to work with them but at the same time reduce my cost. It seems like they just want to take my money regardless.

I have a bond and iv always paid on time and I am actually a weeks rent in advance all the time. I am what you would call a great tenant.

I have been there for over 2 years now.

Any advice?

Comments

  • +13 votes

    I mean, i'd personally say that what they are offering you is a good deal.

    $200 for advertising fees is next to nothing - I recently paid $350+gst as a landlord.

    You have to also understand that you are going to cost your landlord about 2-3 weeks rent worth of fees just to get somebody else into the place.

  • +6 votes

    Sorry to say but pretty much what he said is right, one weeks rent plus ‘reasonable’ advertising costs is legit via the RTA:
    https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/Renting/Ending-a-tenancy/Ending-a...

    Make sure you see it advertised on realestate.com.au so you know your money is at work.

    And if they can’t find someone to take over the lease at your current rent you’ll have to pay rent until the end of your lease.

    Where is your place? If it’s in Brisbane chances are it won’t be re-let at the price you paid two years ago as rents have fallen dramatically so sorry to say you’ll most likely have to pay till the end or pay towards the weekly cost of someone who rents it at a lower price.

    I guess just put it down as costs of being able to afford to buy a house - a lot of people aren’t as lucky as you are.

    • +1 vote

      The sad fact is, if it is in Brisbane, with a guarantee of the (assumed) premium rent being paid, the agent will hold a high rent for any prospective new tenant, for the three months, in a bid to get a high return for the rental property. The tenant is subsidising the search for a new tenant during that 3 month period.
      Once the rental contract is finalising, the agent will be motivated, (read owner) to adjust their rent to a more realistic price that's driven by the market.
      The loser is the tenant moving out.

  • +12 votes

    If you were so much in rush to purchase a house many months before your rental ends, I assume you bought at very good price. Consider 3 months of rent at your current place as part of purchase price on the new house.

    If agent is able to find someone to replace you faster, that's an unexpected bonus but don't count on it.

  • +7 votes

    Seems entirely standard to me.

  • +8 votes

    Nothing you can do, the agent is doing exactly what they suppose to do, protect their landlord :)

  • +9 votes

    I have a bond and iv always paid on time and I am actually a weeks rent in advance all the time. I am what you would call a great tenant.

    Having a bond and paying on time, and being 1 week in advance, shouldn't that just be the accepted norm for an average tenant? It would be like turning up at work every day and calling yourself a model employee just because you show up.

    A great tenant, that would be someone who follows through with whatever they signed on the lease.

    Just pay up.

  •  

    Breach the lease in a way they can't ignore, but doesn't get you listed as a credit defaulter. Sublet to the bikies.

    You own a house, what do you care if you're on a tenancy blacklist for three years.

  • +6 votes

    I have to pay $200 in advertising fees, I still have to continue to pay rent up until my contract ends.

    Thats correct, its why you have a contract. They have it so they get a years rent, you have it so you don't kicked out for a year. Works both ways.

    I have a bond and iv always paid on time and I am actually a weeks rent in advance all the time. I am what you would call a great tenant.

    A great tenant who is wanting to break the lease… Hmmmmm

  • +2 votes

    In VIC that's normal, if you want to break a fixed term teanancy agreement there are financial penalties, by the sounds of it quite similar to what you've listed above.

  • +1 vote

    Unless your new house is in a completely different area, why don't you either:

    a) Sublet the house you're renting and move into your new house. This would be cheaper than having to pay rent for the rest of your lease if it came to that. You would want to vet the person well, but as long as they don't cause damage that will cost you money it should be fine (you're not planning to rent again I assume, so you wouldn't care if you don't get a good reference).
    b) If the rents have fallen a lot like someone above mentioned, rent out your new house for the short term and continue to live in your old house (the disadvantages being if you get a sucky tenant who won't move out or causes other problems, and the lease on your old place expires, you could end up between a rock and a hard place, plus probably more fees because you would be involving a real estate agent)

    •  

      Subletting isn’t allowed in Qld

      •  

        That makes it difficult, I guess option (b) then! Or perhaps do air b'n'b (to avoid the situation of a sucky tenant overstaying his welcome as your lease ends)

  • +3 votes

    Sounds normal to me…Why should the landlord cop several months of no rent income ?

    $200 + a weeks rent sounds like a good deal to me

  • +4 votes

    It seems like they just want to take my money regardless

    It seems that want to short change them. Why should they be out of pocket?

    Is there going to be a series of "How do I get Out of Agreements"?

    How to get out of a new car contract?

    •  

      yes it is :)

      Thanks for looking through my previous posts.

    • +2 votes

      Oh the OP is one them….

  • +2 votes

    Rent out a room to a boarder until lease is up.
    Still 'live' there.

  • +2 votes

    Rent your bought house out until May and still live in rental property

  • +2 votes

    The lease that you signed would have outlined all of this. It usually stipulates that you have to pay advertising costs and pay out the remaining lease.

  • +3 votes

    It's normal. Fixed term lease is for 2 things, the landlord from having to find new tenants every time the renter decides they want a new view out the window and allows a renter to stay put for a fixed period or receive some sort of compensation. It has benefits and also draw backs, ie it isn't easy/cheap to get out of.

  • +1 vote

    Sorry if this suggestion has been made already but you could try and find someone to replace you. The agent/landlord has to approve still but it saves on the "lost" rent and advertising.

    It is acceptable in VIC so might be in QLD.

  •  

    I spoke recently with the Queensland Residential Tenants Authority. They hold your bond. I suggest calling them for a chat.

    By letter of lease you must pay for lease and advertising fees. However these do cancel each other out to an extent and gives you legal rights and options.

    First, they will suggest you do give formal notice. This triggers the agency to be forced to advertise. The price they charge can be debated (including by tribunal if needed) and should be proportionate to he duration you are through the lease. I.e. If 6 months left to go on 12 month lease, it is reasonable to pay half of fees as they would have to pay the lot in 6 months anyway.

    Second do make sure you move out, and that they are actually advertising the property. There have been recent cases where if the agent hasn't filled it in 8 weeks from notice, tribunal has ruled in tenants favor as they aren't doing their job. The law covers you in that while you have to pay, they must be taking action to "minimize your losses". Bleeding a tenant just because circumstances changed isn't allowed, as long as you aren't using the property.

    Sub let is very hard in Queensland, so airbnb is pretty much out. Sub let a room is fine, but cases are lost where the entire property is rented out without the owners permission.

    Give them a buzz and it might make you feel a bit better. Best to luck

  •  

    You can also argue to pay for fees and stuff pro-rata ie you only had 6 months left out of 12 so only pay 50% etc.

  • +1 vote

    You could advertise the property yourself and if you find someone suitable to take over your lease your costs would be reduced. Speak about this to the agents first though so they may hold off their advertising.

    •  

      I agree. Just find a good tenant willing to sign a new lease and get them to speak to your agent/landlord. You might have to pay the difference in rent if that's the case. I did the same thing when I bought my house last year. Good luck

  •  

    I had similar issues….what pissed me off was, as u said, that even if i gave them over 2 months notice, i still would have had to pay if they didn't find any tenant to replace,,,,luckily they did!