Think ahead for your leases!

A few months back I took over the management of a property, the tenants lease expires on the 30th December.

This morning I received an email from the tenants, saying they won't be renewing their lease and will be vacating at the end of the month.

Now, thankfully in Victoria a tenant needs to give 28 days notice. They can vacate on the 30th, but will need to pay through to the 12th January.

However, unfortunately this makes it quite awkward to lease the property. If the tenant doesn't agree to earlier inspections, I can only access the property within the last 14 days of the tenancy - from the 29th December. Not ideal.

It's also not ideal to list before Christmas, as this means the property could "go stale" over the Christmas period and of course, a lot of people go away for the break, so even doing inspections will be difficult to get people through the property!

This is why from November or so, I always start placing new tenants on leases that are either shorter or longer. Ie. <11 months or >13 months. So most lease renewals fall due, from late January through to early March.

Moral of the story, think ahead! Look at the termination date of the lease, and if it falls within the Christmas period deduct a month or two, or ideally for most residential leases (where you're after a long term tenant) look at a 14 or 15 month lease.

I know a lot of agents always issue 12 or 6 month leases, but there is absolutely no reason you cannot vary the lease to expire at a date that suits you better financially.

So if you are renewing a tenancy at anytime in the next month, make sure your next lease doesn't expire in 12 months!
 
yep we have had 3 properties all takeovers than finish on the 25 to 30 dec

currently finishing off February lease renewals and about to start march.
 
Sam, I've just received an application from some girls who want to move in on Jan 8th. I was thinking of offering them a lease expiring Jan 20th or Feb 10th. What do you think is the best date to have a lease expire, Jan or Feb? I think Jan 8th is not a good time to renew?
 
Sam, I've just received an application from some girls who want to move in on Jan 8th. I was thinking of offering them a lease expiring Jan 20th or Feb 10th. What do you think is the best date to have a lease expire, Jan or Feb? I think Jan 8th is not a good time to renew?

after the 15th jan to the 15 feb is the best time in Brisbane
 
Sam, I've just received an application from some girls who want to move in on Jan 8th. I was thinking of offering them a lease expiring Jan 20th or Feb 10th. What do you think is the best date to have a lease expire, Jan or Feb? I think Jan 8th is not a good time to renew?

If they move in on the 8th January, I think you're better doing the lease to 7th February 2016 (exactly 12 months).

There's no problem doing another date, of course, but doing it on exact months works better/easier (or at least it does here in Vic, as all tenancies tend to be on a monthly basis, rather than weekly). There's no need to calculate daily rent, for those few days here and there and it's easier to write instead of "Thirteen (13) months, three (3) days" etc.

The lease period isn't so much an issue if you know the tenant is going to stay for a renewal, or in the event of a lease that is due to expire now - you can implement this for the renewal so it expires later January-February rather than late November onward.

I don't know about you Russell, but I'm not going to be doing a final inspection Christmas Day!
 
Thank you for the good tip on planning.
MKP

A few months back I took over the management of a property, the tenants lease expires on the 30th December.

This morning I received an email from the tenants, saying they won't be renewing their lease and will be vacating at the end of the month.

Now, thankfully in Victoria a tenant needs to give 28 days notice. They can vacate on the 30th, but will need to pay through to the 12th January.

However, unfortunately this makes it quite awkward to lease the property. If the tenant doesn't agree to earlier inspections, I can only access the property within the last 14 days of the tenancy - from the 29th December. Not ideal.

It's also not ideal to list before Christmas, as this means the property could "go stale" over the Christmas period and of course, a lot of people go away for the break, so even doing inspections will be difficult to get people through the property!

This is why from November or so, I always start placing new tenants on leases that are either shorter or longer. Ie. <11 months or >13 months. So most lease renewals fall due, from late January through to early March.

Moral of the story, think ahead! Look at the termination date of the lease, and if it falls within the Christmas period deduct a month or two, or ideally for most residential leases (where you're after a long term tenant) look at a 14 or 15 month lease.

I know a lot of agents always issue 12 or 6 month leases, but there is absolutely no reason you cannot vary the lease to expire at a date that suits you better financially.

So if you are renewing a tenancy at anytime in the next month, make sure your next lease doesn't expire in 12 months!
 
Just signed a tenant up last week. Agent made it a 13 month lease for the reasons you listed. I was surprised they found a tenant in mid Dec :eek:
 
Last year my tenant moved out a week late on the 23rd/24th of December.

Cabinet maker installed new kitchen, laundry and bathroom cabinets on the 24th and new tenant moved in 26th.

Merry xmas!
 
Last year my tenant moved out a week late on the 23rd/24th of December.

Cabinet maker installed new kitchen, laundry and bathroom cabinets on the 24th and new tenant moved in 26th.

Merry xmas!

Awesome job!!

I'm not saying you *won't* get a tenant per Christmas, but it's better not to stress and run the likelihood you could have an extra week of vacancy - not to mention miss a week of good enquiry!

If I were placing a tenant now, I'd do a 14 month lease - push it out a little longer. In fact, I have one moving in Wednesday on a 14 month agreement.
 
I totally agree. My tenant change over xmas and the two day reno was a complete nightmare and gave me a lot of stress over what should have been a relaxing time period.

The worst part was, we let the tenant move out early and i found a new tenant who needed a place urgently. When the old tenant took a week longer to move out the plan nearly came unstuck.

New tenant went on 6 month lease and is now on a 12 months lease ending in June and never again will i have a lease ending in December.
 
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Sounds stressful!!

This one is a little silly of the previous agent, they wanted a 6 month lease because they were building a house, so they were always going to vacate now. They should've pushed for a 7 month lease, if the tenants broke their lease a few weeks early, the landlord wouldn't have been out of pocket.

I am hopeful that the location of the property (school zone) will help push it along quickly, particularly being the start of the year so kids can settle in before the start of the school year.
 
I'm trying to look for tenants at the moment for my property In Perth.

Doesn't look like their is much interest at the moment.
 
Just signed a tenant up last week. Agent made it a 13 month lease for the reasons you listed. I was surprised they found a tenant in mid Dec :eek:

I had new tenants move in yesterday on a property I had struggled to tenant. They have been put on a 13mth lease too.
 
Lil Skater, how do you handle tenants who are on a expired lease and don't want to sign a new one but are happy to continue on month to month?
 
Lil Skater, how do you handle tenants who are on a expired lease and don't want to sign a new one but are happy to continue on month to month?

Case by case basis, really.

I cannot force a tenant to sign a lease, so it is possible that a tenant on a periodic lease can vacate at anytime giving appropriate notice.

You can issue a notice to vacate, but depending on the tenants, expect that to be thrown out at VCAT.

Ideally, all tenants would be on a fixed term lease, unfortunately for Victoria you can't really just boot them out when the lease expires. This is why I start talking about lease renewals 3 months in advance (90 days notice end of lease is required for a tenancy over 6 months) and hope to get something secured.

If they do go month to month, you've just got to hope they don't choose to leave around Christmas. If you're unlucky enough that they do, this is where you implement the longer/shorter lease terms for the next tenancy.
 
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