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

Skip listen and sharing tools

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, they will need to complete a Tenant transfer form (which can be generated at the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) Online website) and send it to the RTBA. The incoming tenant must also sign the form.

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.

Tenant transfer forms can also be obtained by calling the RTBA on 1300 137 164 or emailing rtba@justice.vic.gov.au. 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 agent 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, it must have been lodged by the head tenant 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 sign a Tenant transfer form (which can be generated at the RTBA Online website) to change ownership of the bond. A copy of the completed form must be given to each.

The completed and signed Tenant transfer form must be sent to the RTBA within five days.

Tenant transfer forms can also be obtained by calling the RTBA on 1300 137 164 or emailing rtba@justice.vic.gov.au. 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.