Tenancy in the ACT - What is the length of a tenancy agreement?

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A tenancy agreement will either be for an initial fixed length or on a periodic basis.

A fixed term tenancy agreement states that the tenancy commences on a certain date, continues for a specified length of time (usually 6 or 12 months) with the fixed term ending on a particular date. If the tenant does nothing and stays on at the end of the fixed term, the tenancy automatically becomes a periodic tenancy.

A periodic tenancy agreement may also exist where the parties create a tenancy but do not specify a term, such as in public housing. The parties can agree to sign a new fixed term tenancy agreement. However your landlord cannot make you ‘renew’ a tenancy agreement or sign a new agreement at the end of the fixed term.

Don't be forced or intimidated into signing anything you don’t want to. Just because you don’t do what the landlord wants you to do doesn’t mean he or she can automatically evict you. Be clear about who is on the tenancy agreement.

The financial responsibility for a tenancy usually rests with the tenants named in the tenancy agreement. This continues during the fixed term even if you move out of the house. If you sign a fixed term tenancy agreement, it can be expensive

if you move out early (see Tenancy Factsheet: Ending a Tenancy and Breaking a Lease. If you are entering into a shared tenancy see our Share Housing Booklet: Crowded House - A Legal Guide to Share Housing in the ACT.

Check any special conditions carefully. Be sure they are consistent with the standard terms.


Information supplied courtesy of the Tenants Union of ACT

Further information and advice for ACT tenants can be sourced from