Sharing a Property

There are generally two types of arrangement when tenants are sharing a property.

In a co-tenancy, every tenant signs the tenancy agreement and all names appear on the form. Usually, the bond amount is divided equally among all tenants. However, each tenant is responsible for the full amount of the bond, not just their share.

In a co-tenancy, any one individual can be held responsible for the actions of all the tenants if, for example, rent is owing or the property has been damaged.

In the case of sub-letting, one or more existing tenants will rent out part or all of the property to other people. The tenants who signed the initial tenancy agreement are the ‘head tenants’ and those tenants renting from them are called ‘sub-tenants’. Your landlord cannot unreasonably refuse permission for you to sub-let the property. It is illegal for them to charge a fee for giving permission. If you sub-let, you will become the landlord to your tenant and must take on those responsibilities. If you believe your landlord is refusing to allow you to sub-let without a good reason, you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a ruling. If you are living in public housing, your landlord is generally allowed to refuse permission for you to sub-let.

You must get your landlord’s written permission before subletting any part of the property. It is a good idea to seek advice when considering sub-letting and before fi nalising any agreement.

If your landlord gives permission for you to sub-let and you take a bond from a subtenant, you must lodge the bond with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) within 10 business days. The RTBA will consider you as a landlord for this purpose.