“How long can a guest stay with me before it becomes a problem?” Tenant, NSW
Feature agent: Emma Bettencourt, Senior at Bradfield Cleary.
We asked Bradfield Cleary Senior Property Manager, Emma Bettencourt for her advice.
“Everyone is a little different with this, as it can come down to the owner’s personal preference, but the timeframe I usually give tenants is one month,” Emma said.
“Any longer than that and it will appear as though you are subletting the property without the owner’s prior consent, which is a breach of the Residential Tenancy Agreement and most likely, your Strata by-laws.”
Emma said it is always best to be upfront and honest with your real estate agent from the get-go.
“When in doubt, just ask, and we’ll be able to let you know how best to proceed,” she said.
A good rule to remember: The leaseholder is always responsible for their guests. If complaints are received, they will ultimately fall on the person who is on the lease agreement.
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Your right to quiet enjoyment at the property
Having guests at your property for a period of time is part of your right to quiet enjoyment and exclusive possession of the property.
This right to quiet enjoyment should also include a right to live with your spouse, de facto or close family member.
Your right to privacy means that you shouldn’t have to tell your property manager every time you start a new relationship or have someone stay over.
If you have a guest stay at your house, there’s no requirement to tell your landlord or agent or ask for permission.
What is the difference between a guest and a sub-tenant?
A guest becomes a sub-tenant (or occupant) when they pay or contribute money, particularly if they start to pay a set amount on a regular basis.
Your guest is also more likely to become a sub-tenant:
- If the property is their only residence;
- If they have a key;
- If they direct their mail to your address;
- If they help to care for the property; or
- Arrange to stay for a long time.
You will need written permission from your landlord/agent if you want to have a sub-tenant live with you.
If you don’t have written permission for a sub-tenant to be there, you are in breach of your lease and your landlord could serve you with a notice to remedy, and then apply to the Tribunal for an order that the person moves out.
Alternatively, they could serve you with a notice to vacate.
For information specific to your state or territory, check out our Tenancy Support In Your State page.