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Property advice – The rules of breaking lease when in hardship

Break lease occurs when a tenant needs to move out of the property before their tenancy agreement expires with a landlord. Usually, unless in exceptional circumtances, the tenant will have to compensate the owner for any loss associated with the contract.

Some costs of breaking a lease for tenants may include paying rent whilst a new tenant is being found, advertising costs, unexpired portion of break lease fee, final inspection costs and any end of tenancy costs such as cleaning if needed. These costs are usually communicated by the owner or property manager when the tenant advises them of the need to break lease.

Should a tenant wish (and should a owner not be doing all they can to find a replacement tenant) the tenant can make an application to the Magistrates Court of WA under Form 12 to break a lease due to hardship. Such hardship may be primarily applied for financial reasons as the tenant does not have the means to pay for more than one rental at a time and there maybe procrastination on the part of the owner to replace the tenant. The cost of this application is $65 to have the matter heard and mediated by a Registrar at the local court house.

Some other common reasons for breaking lease include moving from the local area for work, family or health reasons. Tenants who are experiencing hardship and need to break lease can call the tenant advocate at AccordWest on 97299000 for information and advice.

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