Dear Abe,

I just found a great new house with my 2 best friends. We move in two weeks time. However, I still have 2 months left on my lease. How do I tell my landlord? Can I get into any trouble if I just stop paying rent?

Moving On

Dear Moving On,

A lease is essentially a contract that you make with your landlord. You can ask your landlord if you can terminate your lease early. A standard fee for breaking the lease early (i.e., moving out before your end of lease date) is the equivalent of 4 weeks rent, if you are more than halfway through your lease, or 6 weeks if you are less than halfway through.

An alternative to consider is transferring your tenancy to someone else with your landlord’s consent.

“Rent strikes” are not considered a legitimate course of action, regardless of the circumstances. If you stop paying rent you will probably not get a refund for your bond, and you can be taken to the tribunal and ordered to pay any additional amount that you owe. It may also lead to you being placed on a rental blacklist, so please think carefully about whether this is something you want to risk.