Understanding Rental Break Lease Rules


In NSW, the break fees for ending a fixed-term lease early are standardised and mandatory. The amount a tenant is required to pay depends on the percentage of the lease term that has already expired. The following break fees apply:

  1. 4 weeks’ rent if less than 25% of the agreement has expired.
  2. 3 weeks’ rent if 25% or more but less than 50% of the agreement has expired.
  3. 2 weeks’ rent if 50% or more but less than 75% of the agreement has expired.
  4. 1 week’s rent if 75% or more of the agreement has expired.

Exceptions: Domestic Violence

In cases where a tenant or their dependent child is a victim of domestic violence, they can end their fixed-term or periodic tenancy immediately without penalty. This exception aims to protect the safety and well-being of victims and their families.

Important Tips for Tenants and Landlords

  1. Communication: It is essential for tenants and landlords to maintain open communication and address any concerns related to the lease early on. This can prevent misunderstandings and potential conflicts.
  2. Read and understand the rental agreement: Both tenants and landlords should thoroughly read the rental agreement before signing it. This helps ensure that all parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
  3. Know your rights: Familiarise yourself with the NSW Fair Trading guidelines and stay updated on any changes in legislation. This knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions and protect your rights as a tenant or landlord.


Understanding the rules and regulations surrounding rental break leases in NSW is essential for both tenants and landlords. By staying informed, maintaining open communication, and adhering to the NSW Fair Trading guidelines, you can navigate the complexities of rental agreements and enjoy a harmonious rental experience.