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impacts of breaking a lease early
27 Nov, 2019

What Are The Consequences Of Breaking The Lease? Renters Moving Guide

The property rental market of Adelaide is overheated. A lot of people migrate and immigrate to the city with the help of professional removalists. Many locals prefer to rent a property rather than buy one due to various reasons. Majority of the people complete the lease period. However, breaking the lease is not uncommon. Terminating a tenancy before the agreed date may be required for several reasons such as a problem with roommate, premises being sold, need for relocation, lack of safety/ connectivity, etc.

Breaking the lease is not without consequences. A rental contract is a legal agreement enforced according to the rules of the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT). So, if you are considering terminating your tenancy early, here is a complete moving guide by expert removalists in Adelaide for renters seeking information related to the consequences of breaking the lease.


Reread your lease agreement before you do anything else. Search for the section that illustrates the terms and conditions for early termination of the contract. See if the section provides the following information:

• Acceptable conditions (if any) for breaking the lease
• Notice period you need to serve for early termination of the lease without deductions or legal actions
• Penalties you may have to pay for breaking the lease agreement

If your contract states the lease cannot be terminated before the decided time, don’t lose hope. Approach your landlord and explain to him/her your predicament and your intention to leave early. A lease agreement is a mutual contract which can be amended according to the consent of both parties. You can ask about subletting or reletting the property and how you can make the process easier for your landlord/ landlady. If possible, try to find new applicants for the property owner to review and sign on.


According to SACAT, a tenant cannot terminate the lease early without being responsible for the loss the landlord/landlady will incur. If you break the lease, you are liable for the following cost claims by the property owner.

• Rent loss until the property is tenanted again
• Advertising costs for seeking a new tenant by the property owner
• Fees for reletting

These costs can be calculated using the SACAT formula. The costs have to be paid by the tenant even after being served a breach notice for rent arrears by the property owner.

Don’t be disheartened if you still need to break your lease and move to a new property with the help of a reliable removalist company in Adelaide. The tribunal also states the legal reasons that make you suitable to break the lease without any consequences. Read on to know, if you’re legally eligible for terminating your tenancy.


Under specific circumstances, the tenant can terminate the tenancy legally in Adelaide. The reasons are listed below.

Violation of Agreement by Landlord/ Landlady

You can file for termination of lease if your landlord has violated the terms of the contract. You must list what the violation is and end your tenancy by presenting the landlord/ landlady with a termination notice. In the notice, you just clearly mention the violation and by what time should the property owner take curative measures. The standard is to give a notice of at least seven days.

If the owner is unable to rectify the violation, the agreement will be terminated. If the violation is extremely serious, you can file for termination directly to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. You landlord/landlady can breach the agreement if:

• He/she compromise your peace, privacy or comfort. The property owner is obligated to provide a notice for entry for property repairs or to enter areas such as yards, gardens, sheds etc.
• He/she don’t keep the property is a fair condition as agreed in the contract.
• He/she tries to impose or make changes to the rent contract without mutual agreement or your knowledge.

Immediate or Uninformed Selling of the Property

If the landlord/landlady decides to sell the property you rent, you can file for the termination in the following instances.

• The property owner has signed a contract for selling the property and your tenancy period is less than two months. The property owner is in breach if he/she sells the property within 60 days of entering the tenancy agreement with you.
• If you were not informed in advance by the owner about the property’s sale or his/her intention to sell it.

The Property is Damaged, Uninhabitable or Lawfully Unusable

Tragedies happen and in case of natural disasters or any other mishap that makes the property unfit to love, you may immediately serve the notice to leave the property. After review, the termination will immediately come in effect if the site has become uninhabitable, lawfully unusable, or destroyed/damaged making it impossible for you to live in it.

Government Needs the Site

A government authority may need the area your rented property is on and in such scenario you can give notice for tenancy termination with immediate effect. The government authorities have the right to compulsorily obtain any site and they will inform you and your landlord/landlady of the same with prior notice for eviction.

Undue Hardship

You can apply for breaking the lease directly to the tribunal if you are suffering undue hardship for staying at the rented premises or you are facing injustice if the tenancy is continued. In such cases, if the tribunal deems your application has merit, the property owner is liable for compensation to you.

Safety Concerns

You can apply for immediate termination of the lease contract if your safety is at risk. You will not have to serve any other notice. Your reason for termination must be serious, and if proven, the tribunal will release you from the obligations of the legal lease contract.


If you are unable to understand your contract or what legal course of actions you can take, contact a professional who can guide you. The expert can inform you about the guidelines and laws of South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT). According to professional guidance, you can choose what to do next and inform your landlord/ landlady of the same. Once the arrangements for ending the tenancy are complete you can hire a moving company to manage your move.


Premature end of a tenancy is a stressful period. You have to complete legal obligations and need to find new accommodation. During this tense time, it is best if you can ask your family members and friends for help and support.

If your reason for breaking the lease is legal and you need to move immediately, ask your relative or friends for recommendations of a trustworthy removalist company in Adelaide. In addition to entertaining references, contact reputed removalists in Adelaide who can provide assistance at short notice and make the moving process easier. You can do quick online research to find removalists in Adelaide with good reviews and a 5-star rating.