Overseas students affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel bans

This information is for students who are unable to travel to Tasmania and need to cancel their rental accommodation before moving in, or change the moving in date.

If you have a lease and want to keep your current accommodation arrangements as they are, your usual rights and responsibilities as a tenant will apply. See Renting.

We recommend property managers read related information on leases and bonds for overseas students affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel bans.

If you have signed a lease (tenancy agreement)

You can change or cancel the lease if your owner or agent agrees.

Make sure you get their agreement in writing.

If you cancel and you paid:

  • rent in advance - you may be able to negotiate a refund or partial refund with your owner or agent
  • a bond - the owner or agent must lodge a claim in MyBond. You will receive notification from MyBond including details of what the claim is for. You can then approve or dispute the claim within 10 working days.

If you don't agree with the owner or agent, you can dispute the bond claim in MyBond. The dispute will be determined by the Residential Tenancy Commissioner. See Disputing a bond claim.

This also applies if you have paid a bond or rent in advance, but haven't signed a lease.

This may be considered a verbal lease. It may happen where you have agreed to rent a property but a written residential tenancy agreement has not yet been supplied.

Note: a written tenancy agreement must be provided within 14 days after the agreement takes affect.

If you have not signed a lease or paid any money

You can cancel the rental agreement by telling the owner or agent. You do not have to pay any money.

If you have paid to rent a boarding premises

Boarding premises are subject to special rules. For example tenants do not have to pay a bond when they move in. Sometimes there is confusion about whether a property is a share house or  boarding premises. For more information see Boarding premises.

You can change or cancel your boarding premises arrangement if the owner or agent agrees. Make sure you get this agreement in writing.

If you are unable to resolve a complaint or dispute, the Residential Tenancy Commissioner (RTC) can help both parties to resolve the issue. You can contact the RTC office for advice by using the online enquiry form. If you cannot reach an agreement, the Commissioner can make an Order which a Magistrate can enforce.

Updated: 02 Jul 2020