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If you decide to leave Australia, it is important that you notify your landlord/real estate office that you intend to vacate the property once you have confirmed your departure date. Failure to give appropriate notice (in writing) may result in the loss of your bond or any rent you may have already paid.
In most cases, you will have to give at least 28 days' notice and it has to be in writing. You can obtain a 'giving notice' form from DUSA4U to notify your landlord or you can write a letter stating that you intend to vacate the property in 28 days. You must date and sign the letter as well as specify the exact date when you intend to move out.
You can either send the letter of notification by post or deliver it in person. Please remember that if you choose to send it by post, you have to allow three working days for it to be delivered.
You are strongly advised to check the terms and conditions of your lease agreement before terminating your lease. If you leave before the end of your lease, you may be liable to pay additional costs. For more information, DUSA has Student Rights Officers who may be able to help.
In most tenancy agreements, the landlord/real estate office has the right to inspect the property either seven days before the end of the agreement or up till two weeks after the agreement has ended.(For any bond to be paid to the landlord, the "Bond Claim" form cannot be signed more than seven days before the tenancy ends.)
If there has been damage done to the property (and which was not listed on the condition report at the time of your moving in), the landlord could demand compensation from you for the damage that was done during your tenancy. This could take the form of part or all of your bond being withheld
If there is a dispute between you and your landlord on any aspect of your tenancy agreement, you can apply to have your case heard before a residential tribunal board to resolve your dispute. Speak to the Student Rights Officers at DUSA for more information on how to apply for a tribunal hearing.
Note : It is usually necessary for you to ensure that your rental property has been thoroughly cleaned before vacating the premises. Failure to do so could result in your having to pay to have the room professionally cleaned.
Once you have decided on the date you would like to move out (provided you have given sufficient notice), you can work out how much rent you have left to pay from your weekly rent:
When you first move into a rental property, you will generally have to put up a bond as part of the rental agreement. A bond is like a security deposit to pay for any damages to the property that may occur during your stay there. It will be refundable to you only if you leave the property is in the same condition as it was when you first moved in. Note, however, that regular wear and tear is not regarded as 'damages to the property' and will not be a sufficient reason for the landlord/real estate agent to keep your bond.
If you completed a Bond Lodgment form when you moved in, you will have to complete a Bond Claim form now that you're moving out. Never sign a blank Bond Claim form without working out with your landlord first if you need to pay for any damages done to the property. Only sign a Bond Claim form that has been completed after you've agreed with the landlord on the deductions (if any) to be made from your bond.
If you and the landlord cannot come to an agreement or if the landlord refuses to return your bond, please contact your on-campus Student Rights Officers for assistance. You can also try contacting the Tenants Union of Victoria (tel: 9416 2577) for further information or advice if necessary.
If you and the landlord are able to reach an agreement, the landlord has 14 days to send the Bond Claim form to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority, who will then refund your bond in accordance with your agreement.
You may receive the refund earlier if you supply the Authority with your bank details. If you decide to do so, please ensure that you do not close your bank account before receiving your refund. (Please note: bond refunds cannot be paid into an overseas bank account.)
For any bond to be paid to the landlord, the Bond Claim form cannot be signed more than seven days before the tenancy ends.
Students who are living in shared accommodation should make sure that they settle their share of any outstanding bills before they leave.
If any of the bills are in your name, please make sure you arrange to have them transferred to the new tenant's name or to have the service disconnected before you vacate the premises. Otherwise, you may end up having to pay for the future tenants.
You will need to give your utilities (gas, water, electricity, etc) and/or service provider at least 48 hours' notice for them to finalise any disconnections/transfer of accounts, as well as a forwarding address for them to send your final bill.
Please note that in Australia failure to pay your utilities bills could result in a negative credit rating for you for the subsequent five years.
A good way to save money is by selling your unwanted goods before leaving the country. Usually, departing students are able to sell their furniture or books to newly-arrived students and/or second-hand stores provided they are still in a reasonable condition.
You should plan to sell your unwanted goods at least a month before your scheduled departure either by advertising or directly to second-hand stores.
You could use the on-campus notice boards to advertise your goods (you have to be a DUSA4U member and get their approval before putting up any notices) or set up a garage sale that is open to the general public.
Most charities will also accept donations of clothing, electronic goods, furniture and bric a brac should you decide not to take them with you when you leave the country.
For Burwood students, packing boxes can be purchased from Chaddymart on Burwood Hwy or from the newsagency near the corner of Burwood Hwy and Station Street.
Get your flatmates or landlord to forward any mail that may arrive for you after your departure to your home address or have your mail redirected by Australia Post by filling out a redirection form at any post office. There is usually a cost involved with having your mail redirected either within Australia or overseas. Contact Australia Post's Moving Services for more information on mail redirection.