The Legal situation

Your rights and responsibilities in a share house depend on your legal status, that is, whether you are a tenant, sub-tenant, boarder or lodger. If a dispute arises and you are not sure what your status is, you can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a decision on the matter.

It will help to avoid problems if you have a clear understanding of the relationships in the house from the beginning. If you’re moving into a house, ask who is on the lease and find out what your legal status will be. If you want to be a co-tenant, you should ask to have your name added to the lease; if you want to confirm that you are a sub-tenant, ask for a written agreement with the head-tenant confirming your status. This might sound like a lot of trouble, but if things start to go wrong, you’ll be glad you did it.

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