Share houses

A share house is a property rented by a number of people. They are often cheaper than renting alone. 

Share house options

Co-tenant

A co-tenant has signed a tenancy agreement. If you are a co-tenant, you share all of the tenancy rights and responsibilities. 

Make sure you receive written receipts for any payments you make, such as bond. 

Sub-tenant

If you live in the house but your name is not on the tenancy agreement, you are a sub-tenant. You will generally share the same rights as co-tenants. 

If there is only one person's name on a share house tenancy agreement, they are the head tenant. This person is responsible for paying rent. 

As a subtenant you will need to pay a bond to the head tenant. An ongoing property condition report should be completed within three business days of when you moved in. 

Read more about condition reports.

Move into an existing share house

You should understand your rights and responsibilities before moving into a share house with other people. 

Common areas such as kitchen, laundry and lounge room are generally already furnished. Everyone in the house can access these areas. 

You should meet the other tenants that you will be sharing with and talk about the rules the other tenants already have in place.

Set up your own share house

You should consider all of the following before setting up a share house:

  • how much rent you can afford
  • moving costs such as rent in advance and security deposit
  • what furniture you need
  • whether there are enough car parking spaces for all residents
  • who is responsible for housework and garden maintenance
  • how many people you want to live with. 

Security deposits

Most landlords require a bond or security deposit before you can move into a property. 

If you pay all or part of the security deposit, you should make sure your name is on the security deposit receipt. 

The landlord can only return deposit money to people listed on the security receipt. 

Read more about security deposits/bonds.

Subletting

Subletting is where you give another person the right to stay in your rented place while keeping the tenancy in your name. 

If you take in sub-tenants then you, the head tenant, are acting as their landlord. 

As the landlord you must make sure the sub-tenant is given all documents as required under the Residential Tenancies Act.

These include:

  • a tenancy agreement
  • receipts for bond and rent payments
  • incoming and outgoing property condition reports. 

You need to ask your landlord for permission to sublet your property. Your landlord can't reasonably refuse your request. 

If you don't let the landlord know that you are subletting then you are breaking the terms of the lease. 

You may be issued with a notice to remedy breach which could result in the tenancy being terminated. 

For more information or advice, contact NT Consumer Affairs.

Last updated: 27 June 2017