Terminating a fixed term tenancy

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At the end of the fixed term
If a tenant wishes to end the tenancy at or after the end of the fixed term, they are able to do so by giving 3 weeks notice in writing (cl 89).

NOTE: a landlord cannot terminate the tenancy in this way - they must have grounds (see Factsheet: Eviction in the ACT).

During the fixed term
The tenant can terminate the tenancy agreement during the fixed term with or without grounds.

If the tenant has a reason — and it is one of the grounds for termination under the RTA — they can make an application to ACAT to have the tenancy agreement terminated.

Grounds for Termination
The RTA provides several grounds upon which a tenant can terminate a tenancy agreement. A tenant may terminate his/her tenancy agreement in any of the following situations:

  • There has been a serious breach of the tenancy agreement by the landlord   (s 43);
  • The premises have become uninhabitable (cl 86: see previous page);
  • The tenant would suffer significant hardship if the agreement were to continue (s 44);
  • The landlord has caused or threatened serious damage or injury to the tenant, a member of the tenant’s family, or the tenant’s property (s 45);
  • The tenancy agreement was induced by a false or misleading statement by the landlord or their agent (s 46); or
  • The tenant is being posted away from Canberra and there is an additional clause in the lease providing this ground (s 8).

If you need to terminate during a fixed term tenancy on any of the above grounds you must apply to the ACAT for an order to terminate your lease. You cannot just terminate the agreement, because you still have contractual obligations to the landlord until the ACAT orders otherwise. Unless you and the landlord/agent can reach a mutual agreement, you will need a termination order from the ACAT. If you reach an agreement, be sure to get it in writing, signed and dated.


Information supplied courtesy of the Tenants Union of ACT

Further information and advice for ACT tenants can be sourced from