Transferring a rental agreement (lease)

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If a renter wants to move out of a rental property and they have found someone to take over their rental agreement, they can ask the rental provider to transfer (or assign) it to the new renter. This used to be called transferring a lease.

There are rules about transferring a rental agreement for both renters (tenants) and rental providers (landlords).

Residents in rooming houses cannot transfer their residency rights. For information on ending a rooming house residency, view rooming house resident giving notice.

How to transfer a rental agreement

The renter must ask the rental provider for consent before transferring the rental agreement to the new renter. The rental provider must give their consent in writing. The new renter’s name will then be added to a new or altered rental agreement.

There is no standard form for asking a rental provider to transfer a rental agreement, or for one renter to transfer the agreement to another renter.

The rental provider must give their consent to transfer the rental agreement, unless there is a good reason to refuse.

Rental providers cannot charge a fee for giving their consent, or refuse consent if a renter won’t pay a fee.

If the rental provider agrees to the transfer, they can ask the renter to pay reasonable costs for preparing a new rental agreement document. Reasonable costs means costs that most people would think are fair.

If the renter is refused consent and thinks it is unfair, they can apply to VCAT to decide that the transfer can go ahead without the rental provider’s consent. 

Once the rental agreement has been transferred, the new renter takes over all the previous renter’s responsibilities, such as rent payments.

Transferring a rental agreement without consent

If the renter transfers their rental agreement without the rental provider’s written consent, they can be asked to leave. The rental provider can end the rental agreement with both the old and new renters and ask them to leave the property in 14 days. Read more about rental providers giving notice to vacate .

Transferring the bond 

If bond has been paid, the rental provider must also notify the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) of the transfer. The rental provider must do this within five days of the transfer taking effect. Read more about transferring the bond.

Sections of the Act

If you want to know what the law says about transferring the rental agreement, you can read these sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997:

  • Sections 82–84 – Assignment and sub-letting (residential rental agreements)
  • Sections 195–198 – Transfer of rights and sale of caravans
  • Sections 206ZZD–206ZZH – Assignment and sub-letting (Part 4A agreements)