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Are you legally protected by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, the Boarding Houses Act 2012 or neither...

Renters are legally protected if they are classified, legally, as a “tenant”. If you are found to not be a “tenant” or are not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 for another reason, you don’t have access to the rights in the Act. You could be covered by the Boarding Houses Act 2012, if you live in a registerable boarding house with 5 or more residents.

To see an outline of the different types of legal rights you may have, click here.

Think about the questions below, and how they relate to your living arrangements. It is important to remember that the table below only gives you an indication of what your legal status could be. The only people who could say for sure are the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. If you have any concerns about your housing or your tenancy legal status, it is vital that you talk to a tenancy advice service. If you live in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, call EATS on 9386 9147.

Your living arrangements…

If you answer

You ...

Do you have meals, linen and cleaning provided as part of your agreement?

YES

are not a tenant

NO

may be a tenant

Do you have a lock on your room and/or does the landlord need your permission to enter your room

YES

may be a tenant

NO

may not be a tenant

Do you have your own cooking or meal preparation facilities

YES

may be a tenant

NO

may not be a tenant

Are there restrictive house rules, such as restricting your right to have visitors

YES

may not be a tenant

NO

may be a tenant

Do you have a written agreement

YES

may be a tenant

If you live in share housing and are not living with the owner, do you have a written agreement with the head tenant

YES

may be a tenant

NO

are NOT not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

Do you live in a `boarding house’ with over 5 residents, not including the proprietor or staff. If the questions above indicate that you are not a tenant, you may be covered by the Boarding Houses Bill 2012.  You will need to talk to a Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service like EATS about your rights. See an outline here.

If your answers to the questions above indicate that you are not a tenant, you may be able to assert some consumer rights if you can show that the landlord is a business. See an outline here. You will need to talk to a Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service like EATS about your options.