Renting in a Boarding House

If you rent a room in a boarding house, whether you are a boarder/lodger or a tenant will depend on how much control the landlord (or live-in manager or caretaker) has over the premises. You are likely to be a tenant rather than a boarder/lodger, if you:

  • have exclusive access to your own room (no-one else uses your room and you can lock it)
  • do not get meals, linen, or cleaning as part of your agreement
  • have your own cooking facilities
  • do not have house rules enforced.

The Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal can decide whether you are a tenant or a boarder/lodger:

  • if you claim rights as a tenant at the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal in a dispute with your landlord, or
  • if your landlord evicts you (or threatens to) and you challenge this in the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.

If the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal decides it has jurisdiction to handle the matter then you are a tenant. If not, you may be a boarder/lodger. Contact your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service (TAAS) for advice.