Fact sheets on Students, Share Housing, Boarders and Lodgers

Redfern Legal Centre’s Share Housing Survival Guide
A classic! Basic information is available at this link – Redfern Legal Centre is in the process of producing a brand new edition incorporating all the legal changes that came in with the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and Boarding Houses Act 2012.

Redfern Legal Centre's legal service for international students

Follow this link to the Tenants NSW web site. This site contains fact sheets about all aspects of tenants’ rights, which can be viewed on-screen or downloaded and printed out. It also contains contact information for all tenants advice and advocacy services, and sample letters that tenants can use as a guide when writing to your landlord.


Template Share Housing Agreement
If you live in share housing with a head tenant, but do not have a written agreement, you are not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. This agreement, if signed by both the tenant and the head tenant, should help the tenant ensure that they can access the rights (and responsibilities) of tenants available under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. This agreement was developed by the Tenants Union of NSW.

Link What are your housing legal rights
Follow this link to see an outline of the different types of housing arrangements, the legal rights that are attached to each and what your options are if there is a problem. If you are not in a standard residential tenancy agreement, make sure you talk to a Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service like EATS.
Link How to access the NCAT General Division
Some who are not classified as “tenants” may be able to get some legal rights upheld if their landlord can be shown to be running a business. Follow this link to find out what is involved. If you think you may fall into this group, make sure you talk to a Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service like EATS.
Link What the Boarding Houses Act 2012 means
Renters who live in a registerable boarding house with more than 5 residents may be able to access legal rights for the first time ever.

The Boarding Houses Act 2012 Residents of boarding houses (not hotels or hostels) with more than five residents may be covered by the Boarding Houses Act 2012 (Click on Boarding Houses Act 2012 No 74). This law started to come into operation in early 2013.

Renting a single room
This fact sheet gives you some basic tips for avoiding trouble when boarding/ lodging or renting a single room, including in share housing.

Chasing money through the small claims court
Using the Local Courts to pursue money that is owed to you.


Your legal rights
Get an idea of what your legal position is in regard to your housing rights. If you

  • Live in a boarding house
  • Live in share housing without a written agreement
  • Rent a single room in a large or small residence

you may not be protected by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. If you live in a registerable boarding house with 5 or more residents you have some rights It is very important that you call a tenancy advice service like EATS to get specific advice. Click on this link to get an idea of the issues involved.