If you want to leave the rental property to ensure your safety, or the safety of your children, you may need to end the rental agreement (lease) early, depending on how much time is left on the agreement.
If you have a periodic (month by month) agreement, you can end the agreement at any time by giving the rental provider (landlord or agent) 28 days’ notice in writing. You do not need a safety notice or intervention order to do this.
If you have a fixed-term agreement (usually for six or 12 months), talk to the rental provider first. They may agree to end the agreement early. It is a good idea to put any agreement in writing.
If the rental provider does not agree to end the fixed-term agreement early, you will need to either:
- break the agreement and pay any fees that apply. For more information, view our Breaking a rental agreement page, or
- apply to VCAT if you are a person who has been or is being subjected to family violence. This includes if you are a protected person under a family violence safety notice, family violence intervention order or recognised non-local domestic violence order (DVO). You can apply to VCAT even if you are not named on the rental agreement, as long as the rented premises is your main place of residence.
VCAT can decide to shorten the agreement (effectively, ending it early) after weighing up the hardship to you and the rental provider. The rental provider cannot charge you any fees for breaking the agreement, unless VCAT orders that they can do so.
If you are thinking about applying to VCAT, contact us for advice. We can refer you to support services that will help you apply and make sure you are safe at the hearing.
If you have been excluded from the rental property by a safety notice or intervention order, and your name is on the rental agreement, you can apply to VCAT if you want to end the agreement early.
For more information, view our factsheet: