Sub-letting Residential Tenancies (ACT)

In the ACT, a tenant is not allowed to assign a lease or sublet premises without the written consent of the lessor. This page deals with assigning and sub-letting residential tenancies in the ACT.


In the ACT, residential tenancies are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.  Schedule 1 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 sets out the standard terms of a residential tenancy agreement.

Under section 72 of Schedule 1, a tenant must not sublet or assign premises without written consent from the landlord. This consent can be given or refused at any time.

What is assigning?

A tenant assigns their interest in a property under a lease when they hand over their responsibilities for the property to another person. That person then becomes responsible to the lessor for the property, and the original tenant is no longer involved. This occurs when a tenant wants to vacate a property before the end of a fixed-term lease.

What is sub-letting?

A tenant (the head tenant) sub-lets a property when they rent out all or part of the property to another person (the sub-tenant) with the consent of the lessor. When this occurs, a second tenancy is created.

The head tenant is responsible to the sub-tenant in the same way that the lessor is responsible to the head tenant. The sub tenant is responsible to the head tenant for looking after the property, paying their rent and complying with any other terms of the agreement.

The head tenant should make a written agreement with the sub-tenant and should ensure the terms of the agreement are set out clearly.

When the lease between the head tenant and the lessor comes to an end, any sub-tenancies also end. If a sub-tenant wants to continue renting the premises, they must enter into an agreement with the lessor.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.


Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws from Latrobe University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) from Deakin University. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in 2016.
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