If both the renter and rental provider (landlord) want to continue with their arrangement at the end of a fixed-term rental agreement (lease), the agreement can be renewed.
If neither the renter nor the rental provider end the agreement, it will be automatically renewed as a periodic (month by month) agreement. There is no need for any formal renewal process.
However, if the renter and rental provider prefer, they can agree to sign another fixed-term rental agreement with an end date.
A fixed-term rental agreement goes for a set amount of time, often 6 or 12 months.
On this page:
You can also read about residential rental agreements.
Moving to a periodic (month by month) agreement
When a fixed-term rental agreement ends, it will automatically turn into a periodic agreement, unless either the rental provider or the renter gives notice to end the agreement.
If the fixed-term agreement was for 5 years or less, the terms and conditions of the original agreement still apply to the new periodic agreement.
If the agreement was for more than 5 years, the terms and conditions of a standard fixed term agreement of 5 years or less will apply to the new periodic agreement.
Either the renter or the rental provider can apply to VCAT to change the terms of the periodic rental agreement.
Signing a new fixed-term agreement (lease)
At the end of a fixed-term agreement, the renter and rental provider can agree to sign a new fixed-term agreement instead of moving to a periodic one. The new agreement can include different terms and conditions to the first agreement.
Changes to the conditions of an agreement
Either the renter or rental provider may request changes to the conditions of the agreement when it is being renewed. For example, a rental provider may request that the condition that no one smokes inside the property.
You should only sign a new agreement if you agree with the new conditions.
You can find out about what can and can’t be in an agreement on Knowing your rights when signing an agreement.
Rent increases when renewing
When a fixed-term agreement ends, a rental provider is allowed to increase the rent. It does not matter whether the agreement becomes periodic or is renewed for a new fixed term.
You can find out more about rent increases or challenging a rent increase.
Challenging a notice to vacate
When a renter has been given a notice to vacate but does not want to leave the property, they may be able to challenge the notice. This is only allowed in certain situations.
Find out about challenging a notice to vacate.
Bond increases when renewing a long-term rental agreement
The rental provider can only require additional bond when a long-term agreement is being renewed for another fixed term of more than 5 years. Read more about additional bond amounts.
Renters can apply to VCAT for a written agreement
If a renter has been renting a property and wants to stay there, but doesn’t have a new written agreement, they can apply to VCAT to order the rental provider to start one.
This can happen if the previous agreement was verbal, or if a written fixed-term agreement has ended.
VCAT’s order might include the terms of the agreement and when it should start.
Sections of the Act
If you want to know what the law says about renewing a rental agreement, you can read these sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997:
- Section 91Q – Creation of periodic residential rental agreement.