I am an international student. I and my cousin rented a unit in Sydney, Australia since Feb. however, due to COVID, I

Expert's Assistant chat
Customer: I am an international student. I and my cousin rented a unit in Sydney, Australia since Feb. however, due to COVID, I got informed by our university that the studying is going to be online.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: so I and my cousin went back to our home country, but our financial situation now is very bad Eastwood, NSW
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no not yet we still paid for the rent but this last month we did not pay yet. we asked for a lower rent.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: now due to the COVID, can we just cancel our rental contract?, we accept losing our bond, but can we ask the landlord/agent to open the door for us to have people move our stuff?
Answered by John Melis in 19 mins 2 years ago
imglogo
John Melis
10+ years of experience
logo

72962 Satisfied customers

Expert in: Family Law, Legal, Estate Law, Real Estate Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Business Law, Consumer Protection Law, Bankruptcy Law, Traffic Law, Personal Injury Law.

logoBack
logologo
John Melis
logo
logo
72962 Satisfied customers
logo
10+ years of experience
imglogo
John Melis
10+ years of experience
logo

72962 Satisfied customers

Jessica

Jessica

Consultant

31,131 Satisfied customers

Pearl avatar
Lawyer's, Assistant
116 Lawyers are online right now.
img

John Melis, Expert

Hi, I’m John, solicitor, and reviewing your post, and may need to ask a few questions a long the way to assist you.

Concerning your important comments, what is the outcome you would like to see result.

Customer
please
img

John Melis, Expert

Is your rental contract for a fixed term or a month by month arrangement

Customer
We signed for 1 year. We pay monthly
img

John Melis, Expert

You will not be placed on a black list.

When you sign a fixed term tenancy agreement (lease) you are committing to stay for the full term. If your circumstances change and you want to move out before the end of the fixed term there are potential costs involved.

There are some circumstances where a fixed term agreement can be terminated.

Breaking your tenancy agreement during the fixed term can be costly. You may have to pay:

  • rent until a new tenant takes over or the fixed term period ends, whichever occurs first, and
  • a percentage of the advertising costs and the agent's reletting fee (if the landlord uses an agent). For example, if you break the lease 9 months into a 12-month tenancy there is 25% of the lease remaining, so you would expect to pay 25% of these amounts.

If you need to end your agreement early you should give as much notice as you can. The landlord or agent must take all reasonable steps to find a replacement tenant as soon as possible. The more you can do to help, the less you may have to pay. You should make it as easy as possible for the landlord or agent to show the premises to potential new tenants.

If you are concerned that it is taking a long time to find a new tenant, you can check that the landlord or agent is trying to relet the property. Check the agent's website and their list of available rental properties.

The landlord and agent must try to keep your costs to a minimum. For example, if they do anything to make it harder to find a new tenant (such as asking for a higher rent or unreasonably rejecting potential tenants) you may not have to pay the full amount they are asking.

Once the new tenant is found the landlord or agent will request payment for the amount you owe. If you don't pay or if you disagree with the amount, the landlord or agent will usually claim from your bond or apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Be aware that if you owe more money than the bond your name could be listed on a tenancy database. Such listings can make it difficult to rent again anywhere in Australia.

You and the landlord can agree to include a break fee clause in the additional terms of your tenancy agreement. The break fee is a penalty you agree to pay if you move out before the end of the fixed term.

If the fixed term of the agreement is for 3 years or less the break fee is:

  • 6 weeks rent if you move out in the first half of the fixed term
  • 4 weeks rent if you move out in the second half of the fixed term.

If the fixed term is for more than 3 years and you and the landlord agree to include a break fee clause, you can agree on the amount and write it into the agreement.

Where there is a break fee in your agreement that is all you have to pay if you move out early. However, if the landlord or agent find a new tenant quickly it does not mean that you will get any of the break fee back. It is a fixed fee.

You have a legal right to protect your interests in this important situation.

http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/rta2010207/

Look at Part 5m division 2 & 3

Have I helped with your question today ?

Customer
The weekly rate is 520
img

John Melis, Expert

I kindly request that you please scroll up. I have posted a reply for you that explains your options, if you cannot see the response, I request that you refresh your screen, and where it does not show please let me know and I will repost it for you. I am here to assist you when you need.

Customer
we are not fixed term?
do we have to pay for the remaining months?
img

John Melis, Expert

No you do not need to you have a lease break condition in your lease which you can apply accordingly.

Does this help with your question today?

Customer
as you know, we are international students, is it going to affect our visa?
img

John Melis, Expert

ok

Customer
Please do not call I can not talk rn
just chat
img

John Melis, Expert

That's okay you have my number and you can call when you're available

Customer
I am afraid that is going to be your midnight
Customer
can we just chat?
img

John Melis, Expert

I am in Melbourne at 7:39 pm

Customer
I know I am only available in the next 6 hours
img

John Melis, Expert

That's okay I'll still be here

Customer
let me be clear again.
we want to cancel our rental contract. We paid for our rent except for last month. Do we have to lose our bond? Can we ask our landlord/agent to open the door for us to have people come and pack things? if they do not do it? what should we say to them in legal terms? do we have any dirt in our profile? do we have to pay for the remaining months? and is there anything else that we should be aware of?
img

John Melis, Expert

On your lease agreement will have a clause that talks about early termination. Have you read that early termination clause

Customer
Please help as soon as possible so I can write an email to our agent. they just said if they do not hear from us by tomorrow regarding the rental arrears, they will have to serve a termination.
img

John Melis, Expert

Did you read the termination clause in your lease?

Customer
I did not because I left that in Sydney, I have been in my home country for more than 3 months
img

John Melis, Expert

So you need to read that termination clause. Do you have the lease agreement with you you must have this on your computer I assume

Customer
I assume that it is usually similar to other residential lease agreements. I am trying to find it o my lap. but can you tell me the usual case?
img

John Melis, Expert

Lease break is all subject to the terms and conditions in the lease document. So you need to find that document so you can see what the terms and conditions of the lease break. But if you're not coming back to Australia, and you gonna remain in the country you're in whichever country that is, then you don't have to worry about it

Customer
I may come back to Australia, it relies on the government. if they allow me to enter the country and my university go back to normal again
img

John Melis, Expert

The door will open again soon and you can come back and study.

You need to find the lease agreement work out the termination clause and then try to come to some arrangement with the landlord.

Customer
oh, I got the agreement.
Customer
sending it to you now
img

John Melis, Expert

good

Customer
File attached (5243TMG)
img

John Melis, Expert

Please refer to clause 3, four, five

Customer
it does not say anything about the agreement
Customer
breaking the agreement
Customer
well, can you just tell me?
img

John Melis, Expert

The clause says it very clearly just follow the instructions on the clause

Customer
I really can not understand it clearly, if I can why would I need you?
img

John Melis, Expert

Well you need to understand which basically says you gotta come to a compromise or either pay money to the landlord. In accordance with the legislation

Customer
what if I just break the lease and accept losing our bond?
img

John Melis, Expert

That's a choice you can make

Customer
what does it mean?
Customer
is there any dirt that may affect us when we rent another apartment?
or anything else?
img

John Melis, Expert

It's up to you to make the choice what you want to do, you can pay the rent in accordance with the contract, or you can breach the lease, and then lose your bond, and have difficulty if you come back to Australia with renting again.

The decision is all yours

Customer
what kind of difficulty? can you be more specific?
img

John Melis, Expert

When you got time call me and then will discuss the matter

Ask a lawyer and get your legal questions answered.
See all Legal Questions
img
Related Legal Questions
How it works
logoAsk for help, 24/7
Ask for help, 24/7
Members enjoy round-the-clock access to 12,000+ verified Experts, including doctors, lawyers, tech support, mechanics, vets, home repair pros, more.
logoExpert will respond in minutes
Expert will respond in minutes
After you reach out, we match you with an Expert who specializes in your situation. Talk, text, chat, whichever you prefer.
logoSave time & money
Save time & money
No scheduling hassles, missing time from work, or expensive consults.
A JustAnswer membership can save you significant time and money each month.
img
logo 593 Verified lawyers, 10+ years of experience
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on Askalawyeroncall.com are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. Askalawyeroncall.com is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response as proposing specific action or addressing your specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances should be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on any information received from an Expert, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from independent, freelance Experts, who are not employed by Askalawyeroncall.com . The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credentials of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.
Explore law categories
Powered by JustAnswer