Your tenancy status – pros and cons


• No one in the house can kick you out unless your housemates get an NCAT order.
• Everyone on the lease is equal. No one has the right to boss around the others.
• You can claim your rights as a tenant directly against the landlord, for example your right to have repairs done or challenge rent increases.

• Disagreements between co-tenants cannot be resolved at NCAT, unless the disagreement is over the bond or terminating the lease. You will have to work it out yourselves or try mediation through a community justice centre (see Contact Points).
• You are directly responsible to the landlord, and may be individually or jointly liable.

Head-tenant over sub-tenant

• You alone deal with the landlord and can decide what happens to the tenancy, e.g you can ask to get repairs done or challenge rent increases.
• You can choose your housemates.
• You can ask your housemates to leave (but you will have to give the correct notice of termination – see Moving Out.
• If you have a disagreement with your sub-tenant, you can apply to NCAT for a solution, e.g, an order for a sub-tenant to pay the outstanding rent or be evicted.

• You are liable for the payment of rent, the state of the premises, and for any damage caused by your sub-tenants.
• If the sub-tenants move out, you will have to find new housemates or you will have to pay their share of the rent.
• You must follow the requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act, e.g if you want a sub-tenant to leave, you must give them the required notice in writing.


• If you have a written agreement you have the protection of the Residential Tenancies Act if you have a problem with your head-tenant, e.g. a head-tenant cannot throw you out without giving the correct notice.
• You have the right to expect people will not come into your room without your permission.

• You have to comply with the Residential Tenancies Act, e.g. you must give your head-tenant 21 days written notice if you want to leave (or 14 days notice at the end of a fixed term agreement if you do not want to continue a fixed term agreement, or if they have breached the agreement).
• Your head-tenant can ask you to leave if they give you the correct notice of termination (90 days written notice, or 30 days written notice at the end of the fixed term agreement or 14 days written notice if you have breached the agreement)


• Your arrangement is flexible; you can move out with very little notice.
• You’re not responsible for the debts and actions of the other housemates.

• You can be asked to leave with very little notice.
• If you have a disagreement with your landlord or head-tenant, you can only go to NCAT  for a solution if landlord is renting the place as a business or you are covered by the Boarding Houses Act.
• You don’t have the right to control what happens with your room.

Head-tenant over boarder/lodger

• You have greater control and flexibility over the management of the share house, such as setting house rules or choosing who you want to live with.
• You do not have to comply with strict residential tenancy laws and regulations.

• It can be more difficult to recover outstanding debts from a boarder/lodger if they fall behind on rent or damage your property.
• The boarder/lodger does not have to give much notice if they want to move out. If they move out, you will either have to find a new housemate or pay their share of the rent.