Ending co-tenancy, sub-tenancy or sub-let arrangements

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Ending a co-tenancy (joint tenancy)

In a co-tenancy, the names of all tenants appear on the lease. This means that all tenants are held equally responsible for following the correct procedures when ending the lease.

If a tenant in a co-tenancy is vacating and being replaced by another tenant, the property manager or landlord will need to complete a Tenant Transfer. They can complete this electronically through the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) Online website. If you need a paper form, you can generate it on RTBA Online and then mail it to the RTBA. All incoming, leaving and remaining tenants must agree to the transfer.

A tenant leaving a co-tenancy should also ensure the lease is amended so that their name is replaced with the name of the incoming tenant. If they do not, they could be held jointly responsible for any damage or repairs, even after they have left the property.

If a tenant in a co-tenancy is vacating without being replaced by another tenant, they must negotiate with the remaining tenant/s and landlord to have their name removed from the lease.

If they do not, they will remain a named co-tenant and be jointly responsible for any damage or repairs, even if they no longer live at the property.

The return of the bond money is a private matter that needs to be sorted out between tenants.

For further information, please contact the RTBA on 1300 137 164.  Calling this number costs the same as a local call. Additional charges may apply if you are calling from overseas, on a mobile or payphone.

Ending a sub-tenancy or sub-let

If the landlord or property manager gives permission for a tenant to sub-let and the sub-tenant wishes to leave the property, they will need to give the proper notice (depending on the reason for vacating) to the head tenant. In this arrangement, the head tenant assumes the responsibility of landlord to the sub-tenant.

If the sub-tenant has paid a bond, the head tenant must lodge it with the RTBA. The RTBA will also consider the head tenant as a landlord for this purpose.

If you are considered a head tenant in a sub-letting arrangement and decide to leave the tenancy, you must advise the landlord that you are vacating.

The existing sub-tenants and any incoming tenants must negotiate directly with the landlord to create a new tenancy agreement and lease.

The vacating head tenant, the existing tenants and any incoming tenants must also complete and agree to a Tenant transfer which they can complete electronically through RTBA Online, to change ownership of the bond. If they need a paper form, they can download it from RTBA Online then sign the completed form and send it to the RTBA within five days. A copy of the completed form must be given to all parties.

For further information, please contact the RTBA on 1300 137 164. Calling this number costs the same as a local call. Additional charges may apply if you are calling from overseas, on a mobile or payphone.