I was recently in a dispute over whether a date range in a lease was inclusive or exclusive of the start and end dates.

The wording was:

  • The lease starts on 14/1/2016
  • The lease ends on 13/1/2017

So is the lease for 363d (exclusive of both), 364d (where the start and end is on a specific time on each date), or 365d (inclusive of both)? Why? There was no other context on the lease.

Note: This applies globally of course, but my case was in Australia, where rent is charged in weeks (and 364d is 52 weeks). The magistrate, who was acting as a mediator at the time, did not immediately know, and spent 5-10 min discussing it with me without coming to a view concrete enough to voice.


1 Answer 1


They are inclusive if the contract says they are, they are exclusive if the contract says they are.

What does your contract say?

  • The lease starts on 14/1/2016

This is the point at which the tenants rights begin - they can take possession from 12:00:00 am 14/1/2016. This date is included in the lease period

  • The lease ends on 13/1/2017

This is the point at which the tenants rights end - they must be out before 12:00:00 am 13/1/2016. This date is excluded from the lease period.

I have no doubt that the magistrate had a view on this but as a mediator, it is not their role to express their view: its for the parties to determine a solution which may or may not be informed by knowing the exact legal position.

  • When you write 12:00:00, do you mean noon?
    – gnasher729
    May 28, 2018 at 22:14
  • @gnasher729 no, edited
    – Dale M
    May 28, 2018 at 23:39
  • This was certainly my thinking but I am thinking of it as a programmer. An accountant would think of it as inclusive because "financial years are from 1 July to 30 June".
    – MineR
    May 29, 2018 at 4:22

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