What circumstances would result in the tenant not having to pay a periodic lease?

Question from Brenda updated on 3rd July 2008:

Hi, If a tenant signs a periodic lease, then gives notice before even moving into the property are they required to pay the rent for the notice period? What circumstances would result in the tenant not having to pay?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

A tenant may give 21 days written notice to end their periodic tenancy before the tenancy begins. The notice period begins when notice is served, rather than when the tenancy starts. The tenant would then be responsible for the rent from the tenancy start date until the end of the notice period or the start date of a new tenancy (whichever comes first). If the landlord re-lets the property, with the new tenancy commencing on the same day as the original tenancy, then the original tenant would not be responsible for any rent. Additionally, a landlord may choose to accept less than 21 days notice, in which case the tenant would be responsible for the rent until the end of the agreed notice period.


The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.




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