Subletting in a private rental property
As a tenant you can have guests stay at your home without having to either notify or ask for permission from the landlord. Your rent can't be increased solely because you have a guest stay with you. This is different from having somebody move into your property or take over your lease.
What is subletting?
You can sublet a room in your home to someone else and act as that person's landlord. They are known as a subtenant. Subtenants have the same rights and responsibilities as other tenants renting privately.
If you are renting privately you have a right to sublet a room with your landlord's written consent. If you sublet you are responsible for the subtenant's behaviour.
Getting consent from your landlord
Before subletting a room you must get consent from your landlord in writing. If you do not get your landlord's consent to sublet you could be breaching your lease agreement and this may lead to eviction.
If you decide to sublet, your landlord can't:
- withhold their consent without good reason
- ask for any money to consider your request to sublet
- increase your rent just because you have decided to sublet
- add conditions to your lease agreement limiting or denying your right to sublet.
If your landlord refuses to give you permission to sublet or you are having problems with a subtenant you can contact Consumer and Business Services (CBS) for information and advice on what you can do.
It is your responsibility to:
- get your landlord's written consent
- find someone to sublet from you
- collect any rent due
- make sure they don't cause or permit any damage to the property
- make sure that they don't cause or permit any interference with the comfort, peace or privacy of other neighbours or residents.
If you are thinking of subletting you can contact CBS to discuss your options, rights and responsibilities.
What is assigning?
Assigning is permitting another person to take over your lease agreement. It is used if you are on a fixed term lease and you need to leave before the end date - eg moving interstate for work.
You must get your landlord's written permission to assign your tenancy. Your landlord must also agree to accept the person you have found to take over your lease as their tenant. You may have to pay reasonable costs associated with assigning a lease - eg for the completion of new inspection sheets.
When assigning a tenancy over to someone else, the new tenants take over your lease agreement and become responsible to the landlord for meeting all conditions listed.
If you are thinking of assigning your tenancy you can contact CBS to discuss your options, rights and responsibilities.
Getting consent from the landlord
Before you assign a lease you will need to get written permission from your landlord. Details of the person taking over the tenancy must be listed on the lease agreement. This is then signed by you, the landlord and the new tenants.
Alternatively, the landlord and the new tenants may decide to sign a new lease agreement.
Your landlord cannot ask for money to either consider or give their consent to you assigning your lease agreement. They can ask for you to pay any reasonable costs they have incurred when assigning the lease - eg cost for drawing up a new lease agreement.
If you assign the lease without your landlord's written consent you will remain responsible for the lease agreement, even if you are no longer living at the property.