What are the rules if a person wishes to evict a co-tenant from a rental property?

by The FindLaw Team

Not only are property prices sky high in Australia at the moment, but renting a property in some capital cities can also be an expensive proposition. Therefore, many people choose to live in shared housing to spread the financial burden and makes sound financial sense. However with that being said, it’s also not uncommon for issues to arise between people in shared accommodation, and in situations where the relationship cannot be salvaged and eviction of one tenant is the only option: What are the procedures? Are there any laws relating to eviction from shared housing? Such questions are important to ask, and this piece will provide a broad explanation of the laws relating to eviction from shared accommodation.

Evicting a co-tenant

In circumstances where a co-tenant or co-tenants wish to end the tenancy relationship with another tenant, generally speaking, an application must be submitted to the relevant state or territory body, and must outline the special circumstances warranting the eviction of the person. However, it should be noted that common issues such as the person never doing the dishes for example may not be seen as a sufficient reason for evicting a co-tenant.

Evicting a sub-tenant

When choosing to evict a sub-tenant, the head tenant may be required to follow the same statutory eviction procedures for landlords as outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act if there is a written agreement.  

Evicting boarders and lodgers

For boarders or lodgers, providing reasonable notice to the person may be the only requirement and generally speaking, boarders and lodgers don’t usually possess many statutory rights.

If someone wishes to evict a boarder or lodger, the obvious question would be: What constitutes reasonable notice? For the most part, reasonable notice may encompass the rent payment period. So, if the boarder or lodger pays rent on a weekly basis, then one week’s notice may be considered reasonable. However, evicting a boarder or lodger who has resided at the property for a significant period of time may require more notice. Perhaps the best approach in such a situation is to negotiate with the person on an agreed upon date in which the boarder or lodger should leave the premises.


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