Transferring a lease (assignment)

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If a tenant wants to leave and they have found someone to take over the remaining period of their lease, they can transfer the lease to the new tenant.

The new tenant takes over all the previous tenant’s responsibilities under the lease.

Transferring the lease from one tenant to another is referred to as assignment in the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

A tenant must not transfer (assign) the lease without the landlord's written consent.

The landlord:

  • must not unreasonably withhold consent to transfer the lease
  • cannot charge a fee for consenting, or refuse consent on the ground that the tenant has refused to pay a fee
  • can require the tenant to pay reasonable costs incurred for preparing a new lease document.

If a tenant transfers (assigns) their tenancy without the landlord’s written consent, the landlord can give them a 14-day notice to vacate (end the tenancy and leave the property). This notice applies to the new tenant(s) as well as those named on the lease. For more information, view our Landlord giving notice to vacate page.

Residents in rooming houses (buildings where one or more rooms are available to rent, and four or more people in total can occupy those rooms) can not assign or transfer their residency rights. For information on ending a rooming house residency, view our Rooming house resident giving notice of intention to vacate page.

Transferring the bond

When a lease is transferred (assigned), the bond must also be transferred into the new tenant’s name. For more information, view our Transferring the bond from one tenant to the other page.

If the landlord does not consent to transfer the lease

The landlord must consent to transfer (assign) the lease, unless there is a good reason to refuse.

If the landlord withholds consent and the tenant thinks this is unreasonable, they can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a determination that consent of the landlord is not required to transfer the lease.