If you want to leave the rental property to ensure your safety, or the safety of your children, you may need to end the lease early (depending on how much time is left on the lease).
If you have a periodic (month by month) lease, you can end the lease at any time by giving the 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 lease (usually for six or 12 months), talk to the landlord or agent first. They may agree to end the lease early. It is a good idea to put any agreement in writing.
If the landlord or agent does not agree to end the fixed-term lease early, you will need to either:
- break the lease and pay any fees that apply. For more information, view our If you do not give notice (if you break the lease) page, or
- apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), if you have an interim or final intervention order protecting you and excluding the person who used violence.
VCAT can decide to shorten the lease (effectively, ending it early) after weighing up the hardship to you and the landlord. The landlord or agent cannot charge you any lease-breaking fees 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 lease, you can apply to VCAT if you want to end the lease early.
For more information, view our factsheet: