Notice of Intention to Leave: Step-by-Step Guide

June 7, 2024
Notice of Intention to Leave: Step-by-Step Guide

Key takeaways:

  • Review your lease agreement for termination clauses and required notice periods, which typically range around 28 days.
  • Write a formal notice of intention to leave, including your full name, address, the date, intended move-out date, and your signature.
  • Deliver the notice either in person or via certified mail to ensure it is received and keep a copy for your records.
  • Begin move-out preparations early, including property cleaning, arranging transportation, and handling necessary repairs to avoid disputes and secure your security deposit.

Moving out of a rental property involves several important steps to ensure a smooth transition for both the tenant and the landlord. Providing a Notice of Intention to Leave is a critical part of this process.

This guide will walk you through each step, ensuring you understand your obligations and rights under the tenancy agreement. We will also provide you with a full chart diagram of Notice of Intention to Leave: Step-by-Step Guide so you won’t miss anything.

Whether you’re ending a lease early or moving out at the end of your agreement, following these steps will help you navigate the process efficiently.

Understanding the Notice of Intention to Leave

A Notice of Intention to Leave is a formal document that a tenant provides to their landlord or property manager, indicating their intent to vacate the rental property. This notice is crucial for:

  • Terminating the Lease: Officially ending the rental agreement.
  • Avoiding Penalties: Preventing any legal or financial consequences for improper lease termination.
  • Ensuring a Smooth Transition: Allowing the landlord time to find new tenants and plan for the property’s vacancy.

For additional guidance, check out this resource on what is a notice to vacate.

Step-by-Step Guide to Giving Notice

Understanding the Notice of Intention to Leave

Step 1: Review Your Lease Agreement

Before giving notice, review your lease agreement to understand the terms and conditions related to ending your tenancy. Pay attention to:

  • Notice Period: The required notice period, typically 28 days, but it can vary.
  • Early Termination: Any penalties or conditions for breaking the lease early.

Step 2: Write Your Notice

Your notice should be in writing and include key details such as:

  • Your Full Name and Address: Clearly state who is giving the notice and from which property.
  • Landlord’s Full Name and Address: Address the notice to the correct individual or property management company.
  • Date of the Notice: Include the date when the notice is written.
  • Intended Move-Out Date: Specify the exact date you plan to vacate the property.
  • Reason for Leaving: Although not always required, providing a brief reason can help clarify your situation.
  • Signature: Sign the notice to make it official.

For more details on writing a notice, refer to how to write a letter when you vacate a property.

Step 3: Deliver the Notice

Deliver your notice with your intention to leave to the landlord in person or via certified or registered mail. Ensure you allow extra time for mail delivery if necessary. Keep a copy of the notice for your records.

Step 4: Plan Your Move

Begin planning your move as soon as you give notice. This includes packing, arranging transportation, and coordinating any necessary repairs or cleaning.

Timelines and Responsibilities for Tenants

Notice Periods

Understanding the notice period is crucial when planning to vacate a rental property. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Fixed-Term Lease: Typically requires 28 days’ notice. If you’re terminating the lease early due to unforeseen circumstances, consider applying to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a reduction.
  • Periodic Lease: Also requires 28 days’ notice, but if the landlord has issued a Notice to Vacate, you might only need to provide 14 days’ notice.

Responsibilities Before Moving Out

  1. Final Inspection:
    • Schedule the Inspection: Arrange a convenient time for both you and your landlord or property manager.
    • Prepare the Property: Ensure the property is clean and any damages are repaired.
    • Document the Condition: Take photos or videos to document the state of the property.
  2. Return of Keys:
    • Hand Over All Keys: Return all sets of keys to the landlord.
    • Get a Receipt: Obtain a receipt confirming the return of keys to avoid disputes later.
  3. Settle Outstanding Payments:
    • Pay Rent and Bills: Ensure all rent and utility bills are paid up to the move-out date.
    • Clear Any Debts: Address any outstanding fees or charges to avoid complications.
  4. Inform Relevant Parties:
    • Utility Providers: Notify utility companies about your move to avoid paying for services after you’ve left.
    • Postal Service: Arrange for your mail to be forwarded to your new address.

Finalising Your Move

Ensuring a smooth transition involves planning and communication. Here are some steps to finalize your move effectively:

  • Notify Service Providers: Contact your utility providers, internet service, and other subscription services to inform them of your move and schedule disconnections or transfers.
  • Clean the Property: Thoroughly clean the property to meet the landlord’s expectations and secure the return of your security deposit.
  • Dispose of Waste: Dispose of any unwanted items responsibly, using council services or arranging for a junk removal service if necessary.

Tips for a Smooth Transition

  1. Start Early: Begin the process of giving notice and planning your move well in advance.
  2. Stay Organized: Keep a checklist to track tasks such as notifying service providers, packing, and cleaning.
  3. Communicate Clearly: Maintain open communication with your landlord or property manager throughout the process.
  4. Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act to avoid misunderstandings.

Checklist for Moving Out

To ensure a smooth transition, follow this checklist:

  • Review lease terms and notice period.
  • Write and deliver the notice.
  • Plan your move and schedule a final inspection.
  • Return all keys and ensure all rent and bills are paid up to date.

Finding Your Next Home

Once you’ve given notice of intention to leave and started preparing for your move, it’s time to find a new place to live. Use resources like finding rental properties to explore available listings and find a suitable new home.


You can download your complete graph diagram on Notice of Intention to Leave: Step-by-Step Guide here.

FAQs for Notice of Intention to Leave: Step-by-Step Guide

What is a notice of intention to move?

A notice of intention to move is a formal written declaration from a tenant indicating their plan to vacate the rented property.

How to write a letter to vacate a house?

When writing a letter to vacate a house, include your address, the date you plan to leave, and your contact information. Ensure you give notice as stipulated in your lease.

What is a notice to vacate premises from a landlord?

A notice to vacate from a landlord is a legal document that communicates the tenant must leave the rental property by a specified date, typically provided in accordance with lease terms.

How do I write a letter of intent to move?

A letter of intent to move should be clear and concise, stating your departure date and reasons for leaving. Include any lease requirements such as the notice period and address it to your landlord.

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