Lease Transfer Melbourne

Lease Transfer Melbourne

Lease transferring, an often-overlooked aspect of renting, is a vital process for many individuals in Melbourne. Especially for those new to the property market, understanding the ins and outs of lease transfer can make a significant difference. This guide aims to demystify the process, providing a step-by-step approach to successfully transferring a lease. Whether you’re planning to move out before your lease ends or looking to take over an existing lease, this guide will equip you with essential knowledge and tips to navigate the process smoothly.

Section 1: Understanding Lease Transfer

A lease transfer, simply put, is the process of transferring the responsibility and rights of a rental lease from one tenant to another. In Melbourne, this is a common practice, often seen in situations where tenants need to relocate before their lease term ends. Understanding the basics of lease transfer is crucial for both outgoing and incoming tenants.

The process involves several steps, including finding a suitable replacement tenant, obtaining approval from the landlord or property manager, and ensuring all legal and financial obligations are met. It’s not just about handing over the keys; it’s a legal process that transfers all responsibilities and rights from one party to another. A successful lease transfer ensures that the original tenant is freed from their obligations, while the new tenant gains full rights to the property under the existing lease terms.

Section 2: The Process of Lease Transfer in Melbourne 

Preparation The first step in a lease transfer in Melbourne is preparation. This involves the current tenant finding someone who is willing and able to take over the lease. Once a potential new tenant is found, it's crucial to inform the landlord or property management company about the intent to transfer the lease. It’s also wise to engage a conveyancer early in the process for legal assistance.

Legal Requirements for Consent Transferring a rental agreement, or 'assignment', requires the written consent of the rental provider (landlord) or an order from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). This consent is crucial and cannot be unreasonably withheld. If a renter feels that consent has been unfairly refused, they can apply to VCAT for a decision. Discrimination in withholding consent, based on protected personal characteristics, is unlawful and can be challenged at VCAT.

Advertising for a New Renter Renters are entitled to advertise the property themselves when looking for a new renter to transfer their agreement to. However, finalising the transfer still requires the rental provider's written consent.

Fees and Costs While rental providers cannot charge a fee for giving their consent to a transfer, they can ask the renter to cover reasonable costs incurred due to the transfer. These costs should be fair and justifiable. If there's a dispute over the reasonableness of these costs, it can be addressed at VCAT. As a guideline, such costs typically should not exceed around $125.00.

Transferring the Bond An important aspect of the lease transfer process is handling the bond. The bond needs to be transferred to the new renter, which involves completing a bond transfer form and lodging it with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA). This step ensures that the new renter is registered on the bond and protects the outgoing tenant from future claims against the bond.

Section 3: Benefits of Lease Transfer 

Lease transfer in Melbourne offers flexibility and financial benefits. It allows tenants to adapt to changing life circumstances without breaching their rental agreement. For the new tenant, it's an opportunity to bypass the competition often associated with new leases. This process is particularly beneficial for those in fixed-term agreements who need to move out early, or those in shared housing situations. Additionally, transferring a lease can be a cost-effective solution, avoiding penalties for breaking a lease and potentially saving on application fees.


Understanding the lease transfer process in Melbourne, including the legal requirements for consent, fees, and bond transfer, is crucial for a smooth and fair transition. It's a valuable option for tenants needing flexibility in their living arrangements.