When a Relationship Finishes, What Happens to the Lease?

When a Relationship Finishes, What Happens to the Lease?

Over the years, Think Property & Co have managed a diversity of properties – everything from federation homesteads to contemporary inner-city apartments. During this time, we’ve also observed a wide variety of tenant behaviour – particularly when it comes to relationships coming to a conclusion. What happens to a lease when there’s a breakdown in a friendship or a romantic entanglement?

In today’s Think Property & Co blog, we unpack common breakups between partners, friends and housemates. Such relationships ending not only cause emotional turmoil – they can also result in messy, unsafe and illegal tenancy arrangements if not resolved with the assistance of a property manager. In this blog, we look at the best ways to deal with mutual living arrangements gone sour.

Romantic relationships

Imagine this: you break up with your domestic partner, swearing an oath never to speak to them again (we would not wish scenario this upon you, but it does happen). He or she goes on to move out while you’re at work, removing their belongings with haste before slipping their key under the door. You’ve been left with both a key and a lease to deal with.

The first thing to do should you find yourself in this predicament is to inform your property manager. Your ex-partner is no longer paying rent, they’ve returned their key – they should no longer remain on your lease. If there needs to be property-related communications with your ex, fear not! Your Think Property & Co property manager will be happy to help. Outcomes for both landlords and tenants are always better when a property manager is willing to assist with the process of a lease transfer – but in order to do this, they must be kept in the loop.


Many young people enter into their first tenancy arrangement with a mate. ‘It will be fun,’ they say. ‘Nothing could go wrong,’ they say. Whilst living with friends can be a hoot, it can also escalate into a battlefield should lifestyles differ. Whether your pal is refusing to clean the bathroom, or perennially partying in the living room – it’s not uncommon for friendships to come to an end whilst co-tenanting. This becomes problematic if a friend refuses to pay their share of a bond, or if they simply move out without giving you notice. Whatever the drama, your Think Property & Co property manager is on hand to help ensure that mates uphold their tenancy obligations too.


With the advent of Gumtree, flatmates.com and the Fairy Floss Real Estate group on Facebook, there are ample ways to find relative strangers happy to pay cash for board. Inviting these individuals into your leased accommodation, however, is not simply a matter of locating them, taking their money and setting them up in the spare room. Risk is high when tenants select their own housemates without appropriate vetting, which is why all new tenants are obliged to complete an application form and provide ID to their property manager. This is for the tenants’ safety as well as the landlord’s security – and it’s also the law.

At the end of the day, tenants are jointly responsible for a lease. Whether it’s a romantic relationship, a friendship or a housemate arrangement that’s broken down, you’ll need to undertake these critical four steps when removing a tenant from your lease and replacing them with another.

Step 1. Contact your Think Property & Co property manager to advise that a tenant is leaving, and that you’re be looking to replace them.

Step 2. Locate your preferred tenant(s), have them complete an application form and provide identification. Visit our website for to download an appropriate application form.

Step 3. Your property manager will reference check the applicant and submit to the landlord for consideration.

Step 4. Once approved, all tenant(s) will sign the bond transfer paperwork (so that the previous tenant will have their portion of bond returned) and the original lease will be re-assigned to existing tenants and the new tenant.

At Think Property & Co, we believe that transparency is better for everyone. If you have any queries about your rights and obligations as a tenant or landlord, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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