What you need to know before moving into a share house

When moving into a share house, it is important to understand your obligations. To explain these, we talk to Toop&Toop Property Manager, Bianca Pitman.

What do I have to do before moving into a share house?

You need to complete an application form with a copy of your photo ID and evidence of your income. Once the application is approved, an addendum to the lease needs to be signed by all tenants, including any vacating the property. Parents or guardians acting as guarantors (people who co-sign a lease and take on your financial obligations should you be unable to meet them) are responsible for the conditions of the lease agreement.

What is the difference between leasing and subletting?

Leasing means that all occupants residing in the property are named on the lease. Subletting occurs when occupants are not listed on the lease. If you are subletting, you pay rent through a separate agreement with a listed tenant.

If tenants choose to lodge the bond separately, it can be released when they vacate the property. The other remaining occupants or an incoming tenant will need to pay their portion of the bond before the original amount is released.

If the bond is lodged with all tenants listed, it cannot be released from Residential Bonds Online. Outgoing residents will need to make their own arrangements to pay the vacating tenant their portion of the bond.

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Who is liable for damages in share homes?

All tenants on the lease and residing in the property are liable for any damages. If you vacate during the lease and have caused any damage, it is your responsibility to organise repairs. If there are damages when you leave the property and other tenants remain, the remaining occupants will be liable for the repairs. These damages may be claimed from the bond if they cannot be resolved by the outgoing tenants.

Should I have a Residential Tenancy Agreement or Common Law Agreement? What's the difference?

A Residential Tenancy Agreement (commonly referred to as a lease agreement or a lease) is a written agreement between the tenant and property owner and is a legally binding contract. A Common Law Agreement is when housemates can agree to any terms. This is often not as comprehensive or defined as a Residential Tenancy Agreement.

What do landlords need to know before renting their home out as a share house?

Landlords need to remember that all tenants are legally liable and must agree to the terms and conditions of the lease. Moreover, they must also familiarise themselves with their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act and should consider taking out Landlord Insurance in the event of damages or rental arrears.

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