Ending a Tenancy and Breaking a Lease - Fixed term or periodic tenancy?

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Except where there has been a breach of the tenancy agreement, a tenant's legal position in relation to the termination of a tenancy depends on whether the tenancy is periodic or in a fixed term.

  • A fixed term tenancy is where the tenancy agreement states that the tenancy commences on a certain date and continues for a specified period, usually 6 months or 12 months, and expires on a certain date. At the end of the fixed term (unless both parties choose to sign a new fixed term tenancy agreement) the tenancy automatically becomes a periodic tenancy.


  • A periodic tenancy agreement may also exist where the parties create a tenancy but don’t specify a fixed term. Generally, the most difficult problems arise when a tenant or tenants require an early termination of a fixed term tenancy.

Information supplied courtesy of the Tenants Union of ACT

Further information and advice for ACT tenants can be sourced from