“How long can a guest stay in my rental property with me before it becomes a problem?”
Feature agent: Emma Bettencourt, Senior Property Manager at Bradfield Cleary.
“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’s 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.
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 temporarily, 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 regularly.
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. 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.