Western Australia Termination by Tenant
The tenant can only terminate the tenancy agreement under certain circumstances, which are listed below. Tenants should ensure they use the correct notice and abide by the minimum notice periods.
Termination by giving written notice
The tenant should use Form 22 to terminate the agreement for any of the following reasons:
Terminating without a specific reason
- Fixed Term Tenancy: 30 days notice—the tenant can terminate a fixed term tenancy for no specific reason at any time after the end of the fixed term. The tenant must give at least 30 days notice of termination to the landlord. Without a specific reason, the tenant cannot terminate the tenancy agreement before the end of the fixed term. If the tenant does terminate before the end of the fixed term, they will generally be liable to compensate the landlord for lost rent. See the compensation section for more information.
- Periodic Tenancy: 21 days notice—the tenant can terminate a periodic tenancy for no specific reason at any time. The tenant must at least 21 days notice of termination to the landlord.
Terminating for a specific reason
- Premises Destroyed/Uninhabitable: 2 days notice—the tenant can terminate a tenancy agreement at any time if the premises is wholly or partly destroyed or made uninhabitable. This does not apply if the destruction or damage was caused by the landlord or tenant’s breach of the agreement. The tenant must give the landlord at least 2 days notice of termination. This circumstance usually applies where the destruction or damage is caused by a natural event, such as flooding or fire.
- Premises Cannot Lawfully be used as Premises: 2 days notice—the tenant can terminate a tenancy agreement at any time if the premises can no longer be lawfully used as a premises, either because of a zoning or legal classification of the premises, or because it has been compulsorily acquired by the government. The tenant must give the landlord at least 2 days notice of termination.
After giving a written notice of termination, the tenant should generally not move out immediately and stop paying rent. The tenant should wait for the landlord to either accept the termination, or, if the landlord challenges it in court, for the court to make a termination order. If the tenant moves out and stops paying rent, but the landlord rejects the termination notice and successfully challenges it in court, then the tenant will be considered to have abandoned the premises and therefore breached the agreement.
Termination by applying directly to court
The tenant can apply directly to the Magistrate’s Court to terminate the agreement for any of the following reasons. You must use a Form 12 to apply for a court order (or Form 12 Perth for Perth Residents). It is also good practice, but not necessary, for the tenant to notify the landlord using a termination notice Form 22.
- Undue Hardship to Tenant—the tenant can apply directly to the court for termination if they would suffer ‘undue hardship’ if the agreement continued. ‘Undue hardship’ usually means some kind of extreme disadvantage, for example if the tenant urgently needs to move and cannot afford to continue to pay rent. If the court makes a termination order, it will also make a possession order requiring the tenant to move out within an appropriate period, depending on the circumstances. The court may also order the tenant to pay compensation if appropriate.
- Breach by Landlord—the tenant can apply directly to the court for termination if the landlord has breached the agreement. The court will only make a termination order if the breach is serious enough to justify termination. This will largely depend on the circumstances of each case. The court is more likely to terminate if the tenant has previously given the landlord a Form 23: Breach of Agreement by Landlord and the landlord has not fixed the breach. The court is also more likely to make a termination order if the landlord’s breach is so serious or grave that it cannot be fixed or it permanently damages the agreement beyond repair.
These legal guides provide a brief summary and introduction of the laws and regulations affecting share accommodation. They do not cover all cases in all legal jurisdictions and might not apply in your specific share accommodation situation. It is important that you use this information as a guide only and seek independent Legal Advice or consult the Relevant Acts. We do not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.