There are several different ways to change a tenancy agreement. Landlords and tenants should decide together which approach best suits their situation.

The type of change to a tenancy agreement will have an impact on the:

  • healthy homes compliance date
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020 law changes that apply.

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A fixed-term tenancy will automatically continue as a periodic tenancy at the end of the term, unless:

  • either the landlord or tenant gives the correct notice to end the tenancy, or
  • the tenant and landlord enter into a renewed fixed-term tenancy agreement, or extend the existing tenancy agreement, or otherwise vary the agreement. This can only occur if the landlord and tenant agree, or when a tenant exercises a right in their agreement.

Healthy homes compliance

Continuing a fixed-term tenancy does not change the healthy homes compliance date for the property.

If a new or renewed fixed-term tenancy begins on or after 1 July 2021, the healthy homes compliance date is 90 days later.

Healthy homes compliance timeframes has more information.

Extend

The end date of the tenancy is changed but all other aspects of the agreement remain the same. This only applies to fixed-term tenancy agreements. This can only occur if the landlord and tenant agree, or when a tenant exercises a right in their agreement to extend the fixed-term.

If the tenant wants to extend the agreement they must tell the landlord in writing at least 28 days before the end of the fixed-term.

Healthy homes compliance

Extending a fixed-term tenancy does not change the healthy homes compliance date for the property.

If a new or renewed fixed-term tenancy begins on or after 1 July 2021, the healthy homes compliance date is 90 days later.

Healthy homes compliance timeframes has more information.

Vary

The terms of the tenancy agreement are varied, for example responsibilities for lawns and gardens, change of tenants, or new or modified terms and conditions. This can apply to periodic or fixed-term tenancy agreements.

Healthy homes compliance

Varying a tenancy does not change the healthy homes compliance date for the property.

If a new or renewed fixed-term tenancy begins on or after 1 July 2021, the HHS compliance date is 90 days later.

If the original tenancy was signed before 1 July 2019, you will need to include an ‘intent to comply’ statement [PDF, 799 KB] in the tenancy agreement (or attach it) if a variation occurs.

Healthy homes compliance timeframes has more information.

Renew

A fixed-term tenancy can be renewed on the same terms and conditions for the same length of time as the original fixed-term tenancy. This can occur if the landlord and tenant agree or when a tenant exercises a right in their agreement to renew the fixed term.

If the tenant wants to renew they must tell the landlord in writing at least 28 days before the end of the fixed-term.

Healthy homes compliance

If the renewal is signed on or after 1 July 2021, the property must comply with the healthy homes standards within 90 days of the renewal date.

If the original tenancy was signed before 1 July 2019, you will need to include an ‘intent to comply’ statement [PDF, 799 KB] in the tenancy agreement (or attach it) if a renewal occurs.

Healthy homes compliance timeframes has more information.

Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020

Fixed-term tenancy agreements

If the original fixed-term tenancy agreement was signed before 11 February 2021, the following law changes do not apply:

All other tenancy law changes that came into effect on 11 February 2021 will apply.

This is the case even if you make changes to your fixed-term tenancy agreement (extend, vary or renew) after 11 February 2021.

If the fixed-term tenancy expires and continues as a periodic tenancy, all of the law changes will apply. 

Periodic tenancy agreements

All the law changes that came into effect on 11 February 2021 apply to periodic tenancy agreements.

This is the case regardless of when the agreement was signed or if any changes are made to the tenancy agreement (such as agreeing to a fixed-term).

Tenancy law changes has more information.

Recording changes to a tenancy agreement

If you extend, vary or renew your tenancy agreement, you must record the change in writing. Both the landlord and all tenants need to sign it. This document can take any format, but it must include:

  • what the change is
  • when it takes effect
  • landlord's signature
  • all of the tenants’ signatures.

Once signed, the landlord should give the tenant a copy. This should happen before the change takes effect. Both parties should attach this to their copy of the tenancy agreement.

Rent increase notice

A rent increase notice does not require a written variation or tenant signature to the tenancy agreement, as the notice can be issued without the tenant’s prior agreement (as long as the notice complies with all legal requirements).

In some situations, the tenant and landlord may agree to increase the rent if the landlord has either made substantial improvements to the premises, increased or improved the facilities or services, or agreed to vary the terms of the tenancy and it benefits the tenant. In these situations, the increase in rent would be a variation of the tenancy agreement.

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