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Communtity Law Manual | Tenancy & housing | Rent and bond in a boarding house

Boarding houses: Renting a room

Rent and bond in a boarding house

Rent and other costs in a boarding house

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, ss 24, 66E, 66K, 66U

You must pay your rent on time. Your landlord can give you 48 hours’ notice to move out if you’re 10 days overdue with your rent (see “Ending a boarding house tenancy” in this section).

Your landlord can increase the rent if they give you 28 days’ written notice. But they can’t increase it more than once every six months.

You have to pay the bills for services that only you use, like electricity and gas (if these are metered separately) and phone and internet connected to your room. The landlord is responsible for paying all other bills – for example, for electricity or gas used in shared areas like communal lounges.

Paying a bond in a boarding house

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, ss 18, 19, 66D

Your boarding house landlord can ask you for a bond of up to four weeks’ rent.

If the bond you pay is equivalent to more than a week’s rent, all the normal rules about bonds apply, including that the landlord has 23 working days to give it to Tenancy Services for them to hold, see “Rent, bond and other costs” earlier in this chapter.

If the bond is only one week’s rent or less, your landlord doesn’t have to give it to Tenancy Services, but they do have to give you a receipt. They have to refund you the bond when you move out, except for any amount needed to cover unpaid rent or pay for any damage you’ve caused. If your landlord holds on to your bond at the end of the tenancy, or holds on to more than you think they’re entitled to, you can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to order the landlord to give you back the bond.

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