What to do when your share house’s lease is coming to an end

Claudia

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With the new year comes new share houses, new beginnings and the ending of leases. And this can be messy af. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe, get your bond back and not ruin relationships.

image Sarah Mason

Moving house is equally as stressful as it is fun. On one side, there’s the prospect of new beginnings, new flatmates and a new local cafe to find. On the other side, there’s the stress of packing up your whole life, getting all of your ducks in a row and the huge costs associated with moving. To send you off safely to your new home and to ensure you keep your relationship with your current flatmates, we’ve made this handy end of lease guide for you.

1. Suss the sitch

So your lease is up in a month, if you haven’t already, you really need to suss what everyone in the house is doing.

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Do you all want to stay and sign on for another year? Do some flatmates want to stay and others don’t? Or is it a stalemate situation where none of you want to continue living with each other but none of you want to move out. Whatever is happening, you’re all going to have to chat it out and probably some sacrifices will need to be made.

2. Change names on the lease and utilities

Once you’ve established if and who is staying on, you’re now going to have to do the dreaded task of the handover.

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This includes the lease transfer and bills (aka hell of a lot of admin). Talk to your agent or landlord about the lease transfer and what you need to know. We’d suggest reading up on consumer affairs info for your state before chatting to your agent.

Now on to bills. If the person whose name is on all the bills is moving on, then one of you is going to have to call up those providers and get some names switched. If you’re moving on and you are on the internet bill, you might be taking the modem with you to your new place – you’ll need to give your flatties a big heads up on this one as it can take up to 6 weeks for a new modem to be connected. Head to your provider’s app or website and click on the “moving house” or “name change” section.

3. Organise your end of lease clean

End of lease cleans are a nightmare. The list is never ending and if you don’t leave it absolutely sparkling in every crevice, the real-estate agent/landlord can decide to hold on to some of your bond.

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Get the checklist from your agent and ensure everything is ticked off. Decide early on if you’re doing it yourself to save money or you’re hiring someone. Our tip is to get a cleaner 100%. The time and physical pain saved from cleaning is worth every cent. Obviously if you’re just leaving but your current flatmates are staying on, you don’t have to do a full end of lease clean but leaving it nice will help to keep the peace and maintain friendships with your current flatties.

. Redirect your mail

Nothing is more annoying than moving into a new home and still receiving mail from a random ex tenant.

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So be a good citizen and change your address on everything – think banks, utilities, AEC, department of transport, subscriptions etc. For peace of mind, you can also get your local post office to redirect your mail for your first couple of months of moving. The fee is about $30 for 3 months.

5. Don’t leave a trace

Please please please take your stuff with you. Moving is stressful, we get it, and even if you think you live your best Marie Condo life, there is always so much more stuff than you thought.

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So much kitchen stuff, who knew?! Whilst it seems easy and not a big deal to leave a few things at the house and think “oh Jess can use that,” let me tell you, she won’t. Leaving your crap everywhere is just annoying for the remaining flatmates and leaves a bad taste in their mouth when they think of you. Also don’t be that person who dumps your junk at op shops – only donate good quality products to charity shops.

6. Communicate

We’ve said it once, we’ve said it 100 times, the key to an amicable share house life is to communicate.

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Let your flatmates know what you’re doing and what your plans are, so they can manage and get organised. Moving house is said to be as stressful as divorce so keep that in mind when chatting to your flatties and be as open as possible on your movements.

So what are you waiting for ? Get cracking on the list above! If a lease break is leaving you in need of a new flatmate, we’ve you got you covered.

author

Claudia

claudia@flatmates.com.au

@claudiaconley_

Claudia is Flatmates' Community Manager. She loves her share house, her plants and her side-hustles.