Breach of a lease

Breach of a lease 2017-06-01T13:06:10+10:00

Landlord accusing you

A tenant who breaches a lease is liable to pay damages to the landlord. Here’s what you could be liable for:

Walking away and leaving the keys

  • Landlord can re-enter
  • Rent until a new tenant is found or the lease ends
  • Any re-letting fees
  • Repair, repaint and new locks

Lease ends and walking away without tidying up

  • Cleaning
  • Repairs
  • Bringing the premises back up to scratch

Falling behind on rent, outgoings and other payments


  • Being sued for non-payment, or
  • Receiving a “section 146 notice” – which means that the landlord is trying to kick you out

You accusing the landlord

Usual accusations against a landlord include:

Failure to repair

  • The landlord is required to repair plant and equipment as soon as practicable.
  • It only extends to plant or equipment that is the landlord’s responsibility. That’s usually determined by the lease. If you can take it with you at the end of the lease, it’s your responsibility.

Really getting in your way and preventing you trading

  • Otherwise known as not giving you ‘quiet enjoyment of the premises’
  • Lawfully changing the locks under a right of re-entry (see above) doesn’t count.

Withholding rent

Don’t think about withholding rent in protest or to cover repairs. There are very few situations which allow a tenant to withhold rent, and this isn’t it. Get an agreement with the landlord to withhold rent at mediation or wait for a VCAT order.


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