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What landlords need to know about sharehousing in Queensland

By Andrew Bell

As a landlord in Queensland, you need to know your rights around operating a sharehouse. This is any residential property that is rented or lived in by more than one party (i.e. flatmates who are not family members). The group of people could be made up of students, young professionals, or any mix of people.

Your Gold Coast property sharehouse could become a melting pot of personalities and clashing interests that results in a broken tenancy agreement or damage to your property. An experienced property manager from Ray White Surfers Paradise will help in any dispute situation, but as the landlord it’s important you know the ins and outs of owning a sharehouse as well.

The tenancy agreement

In the tenancy agreement, you can dictate whether or not you will allow tenants to make temporary changes to the occupants of the home. For example, someone might be going overseas for three months and they could have another person rent their room to cover costs while they aren’t living there – this is called sub-letting. It’s a common option, but if you don’t want that to be possible, you must state it in the tenancy agreement; you have the final say over whether the person applying to live there can stay regardless.

There should be a written agreement between the occupants of the home in any sharehousing arrangement. The agreement should state the length of time the tenant/occupant will be staying for, or if it’s a week-to-week option where they can opt out at any time. It should state what the occupant must pay and how much of the living costs they’re responsible for. If they plan to stay for an extended period of time, the agreement can also state that they are equally responsible for the property along with any other tenants.

Much like any tenancy agreement, the sharehousing agreement should say how much notice must be given if they want to leave the property before the agreed date, and how they should give that notice. It is not a legal requirement that a sharehousing agreement exists, but it is useful for the tenants to know they have something to fall back on if problems arise. Owning a sharehouse on the Gold Coast could help you to maintain tenants for longer periods of time, but they have to live well together.

The benefits of sharehousing

A sharehouse can benefit a landlord because it widens your pool of potential tenants. No longer are you restricted to families with kids wanting to rent your home. Instead, you could have any small groups of people wanting to live in your property. Young professionals, for example, could be far less damaging to a home than a family with two kids. Think about who you want to live in your property and how they will treat it.

A sharehouse might be made up of friends or total strangers, but if they live well together, they could rent the property long-term. That means less work for you trying to find replacement tenants and having a vacant property while you do. Your source of income won’t be interrupted at all, which is great for your finances.

However, if the tenants don’t have their own internal agreement about who is responsible for what, or if guests can stay over and for how long at a time, disputes can arise and the tenancy could fall apart. This isn’t something you are responsible for, but it could impact the property if people don’t do their jobs and maintain it, or they get angry and cause damage.

When you work with a property manager from Ray White Surfers Paradise, you don’t have to concern yourself with any of these issues, but it’s still important you understand the potential benefits and risks of owning a sharehouse. For more information, get in touch with Ray White Surfers Paradise today.

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