Am I allowed to sub-let my Canberra rental property?

Planning an extended holiday or taking on temporary work in a new city? Perhaps you’ve found your dream home while locked into a tenancy agreement elsewhere.These are just a few reasons tenants may wish to sub-let.

Sub-letting a room or the entire premises to another person can be a great idea, but only if you stay on the right side of the law. The ACT has rules around sub-letting laid out in the Residential Tenancies Act.

Here’s what you need to know:

Legal sub-letting requires the lessor’s permission

If you wish to sub-let, the first step is getting the lessor’s consent in writing.

Without permission, the person moving in – the sub-tenant – hasn’t entered into a residential tenancy agreement and therefore doesn’t have the same rights as a tenant. A major risk of this is that the lessor may have grounds to terminate the tenancy before the end of the agreement or could increase the rent excessively.

Further, if a tenant sub-lets his or her space illegally, he or she may still be liable for losses, damages or rental arrears incurred by the sub-letter.

How is sub-letting different in a share house in the ACT?

Sub-letting in share houses is a bit different as there will generally be one head tenant and everyone else is considered a sub-tenant. To this end, it’s essential for the head tenant to gain written permission for each sub-tenant who moves in. Similarly, if you’re joining a share house, be sure the head tenant has obtained written permission for you to be there.

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