Sharing a rented home

There are a number of ways to share a rented home. Each arrangement has different obligations you need to follow.

Sub-letting

In a sub-letting arrangement, you, as the tenant, can rent part or all of the premises to another person. You remain the landlord's tenant and you’re still responsible for the tenancy, including the actions of the sub–tenant.

Transferring or assigning the lease

If you transfer or assign the lease, you are inviting someone to be added or take over the lease. The existing lease agreement, including any remaining fixed term period and the rent payable, is transferred to the new tenant or co–tenant. There is no need to sign a new lease although it is best to put the arrangement in writing to avoid any disputes later on.

Additional occupants

An additional occupants arrangement is when you informally invite someone to stay with you. This could be a family member, friend or stranger and it may be a temporary or permanent arrangement.

Consent from the landlord

A landlord must give written permission to sub-let or transfer any part of the premises. If you do this without consent, you are breaching the terms of the agreement.

Having an additional occupant does not require permission, although you must not exceed the maximum number of permitted occupants stated on the lease.

Reasonable refusal

A landlord cannot unreasonably say no to requests to sub-let or co-tenant the premises.

Examples of when it is reasonable to say no include, but not limited to:

  • if the total number of occupants permitted under the lease would be exceeded
  • if the total number of occupants would exceed any local council rules and regulations
  • if the person being proposed is listed on a tenancy database
  • if they reasonably believe it would result in the premises being overcrowded.

Challenging a refusal

If your request is refused, and you believe the decision is unreasonable, you can apply to the Tribunal to hear your case.

Costs

You cannot be charged by the landlord or agent for a sub-let or co-tenancy. The same rules for rent increases apply.

Changing bond records

Co–tenants can pass bond money between themselves. A Change of Shared Tenancy Arrangement form (PDF, 222.5 KB) needs to be signed and lodged with Fair Trading to update the bond records.

Social housing providers

In a social housing arrangement, the decision is made by the social housing provider's own policies and procedures.

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