Boarding houses: Renting a room
Your tenancy agreement and the house rules
As well as the boarding house rules in the Residential Tenancies Act, the terms and conditions of your tenancy will include what’s contained in your tenancy agreement and the “house rules” set by the landlord.
When you move into the boarding house, the landlord has to give you a copy of your tenancy agreement, a copy of the house rules, and a list of the costs of all services the landlord provides for you that aren’t included in the rent.
Your boarding house tenancy agreement
The agreement must include all the information that has to be in standard tenancy agreements for flats and houses (see “Moving in: Signing a tenancy agreement with a landlord” earlier in this chapter). It also has to say whether your tenancy is intended to last for at least 28 days (if it’s not, it won’t be covered by the minimum protections explained in this section), whether your room is shared, and whether the landlord will provide you with any other services (like meals or laundry services). The agreement also has to give contact details for the landlord and the boarding house manager (if there is one).
Landlords can make house rules about the boarding house and the services there. They have to keep copies of the house rules (and fire evacuation procedures) on display. The landlord must do everything reasonable to make sure the house rules are followed, and they have to enforce them fairly and consistently. They can change the house rules, as long as they give all the tenants one week’s notice of the change.
You can go to the Tenancy Tribunal to challenge a house rule if it’s inconsistent with your rights in the Residential Tenancies Act (for example, if a rule says you have to give the landlord one week’s notice to end the tenancy rather than the 48 hours required by the Act) or if it breaches other laws, like privacy laws.
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