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Advise on breaking our lease


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Hi all,


We have recently bought our first home here, and move in a couple of weeks. However, we have had to break our lease, which doesn't expire until the end of September.


Does anyone know the legalities of our responsibility regarding the lease ?


As it stands, the house will be empty for 4 months, whilst we pay $400 per week, on top of our mortgage. The agents (L.J.Hookers) have said that it's just tough, and that as well as paying the rent, we are responsible for keeping the property in good condition, i.e. cutting the grass etc... (how we do that with the electricity cut off will be another question)


I know it was our choice to break the lease, but we didn't anticipate finding new tenants to be a problem, as it's a great house on a lovely quiet estate. The agents are doing very little to help find a tenant, although I cannot prove that.


Any suggestions or advise would be VERY much appreciated.


Thank you

Paul & Sarah

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The Tenancies website says the following


If you want to leave a fixed term agreement before the end date, speak to your landlord. You may be liable for costs associated with readvertising and reletting the property, as well as for any loss of rent.


This is a link to their website - it has changed a bit - it used to be a lot more easier to navigate http://www.sa.gov.au/subject/Housing,+property+and+land/Renting+and+letting/Finding+a+place+to+rent/Lease+agreements,+and+landlord+and+tenant+responsibilities/Lease+agreements+explained#What_is_a_lease_agreement


If the rules haven't changed then you are liable for paying the advertising costs and it used to be charged in proportion to your lease term still to go. As they have said the rent etc still needs to be paid until a tenant has been found.


But when I had long term rentals and people wanted to break a lease my agent always put the home up as "available to rent" in advance on realestate.com.au and this advertising didn't used to cost anything for them to do. They also put the listing up in their office and also I asked them to put an advert in the local "Messenger" and usually there was only a one to two week gap at the most. This advertising you will likely have to pay for (but find out about that) but it isn't exorbitant - it was something like $20. The Saturday Advertiser is also a good one and once you know what inspection times are available you can put a couple of lines in the Advertiser yourself but tell them your plans to do that. You should contact the Tenancies link I gave you and find out what your rights are as the agents don't seem to be pro-active about this. At the very least they should have the home on Realestate.com.au so that it is appearing. The other thing to watch for is that some agents don't like being "physically" at open inspections and just say via appointment only. It is better if they can put up a few available times that someone will be at the property to show off the home. Offer to be there in their place- I know not ideal but your the one paying the rent so you are going to be more available than they will be. They should give you all the forms that are required and you can just hand it out to people when they arrive to the home. I found that most people wanted to look at homes on weekends when they had the time but agents were reluctant to open a home on the weekend because it took up their own personal time. TBH they were also reluctant to have a home open during the week.


PS - Also put it all in writing what you would like them to do, what day you are leaving and how you would like them to manage the "re-leasing" of your home and your availability for open inspections and if they can advise you on advertising costs. This will be your proof that you have tried to get them moving on it - they can schedule Open Inspections while you are still in the house. That might not be ideal for you, given you are moving but it is certainly what other agents seem to be able to do when a lease is coming to an end.

Edited by Toni
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Paul,perhaps someone on here might be interested in your rental.Put some details on here.


Wishing you every happiness in your new home.




Cheers Sue for your good wishes. We have posted it on the 'accomodation available' forum, but not received much interest. I guess maybe it's the wrong time of year, which doesn't help.



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Guest Adelaide_bound
:( sorry can't help - were looking, but need to be v close to cbd, due to transport issues and needing options for me doing CRT work :( hope you find someone, good luck!
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Guest sedgecl


We are the same as you, we still have 4 months left on our lease as we are buying and move in at the end of the month...The Agent has advertised mine, I have also placed it on here and FB, I haven't tried Gumtree or Messenger yet though...Please be careful with LJ Hooker, my friend had a lot of problems with them and it in the process of taking them to court. The Agent has to actively fill your home, even if you are breaking the lease...

Good luck and fingers crossed....

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