LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

VIC Tenancy Agreement of Flatmates Agreement - Which is Better?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Asher, 8 July 2016.

  1. Asher

    Asher Member

    Joined:
    8 July 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am renting a furnished room and all amenities facilities of my house and full access to one person who is strictly termed a lodger. I am wanting to draw up an agreement and am undecided whether to use a Flatmates Agreement or a Tenancy Agreement.

    The Flatmates Agreement does not have the same prescribed obligations and protections and seems inadequate to me. The Tenancy Agreement has proper protection for both myself and my lodger. However, utilities used by the lodger are not meted separately and by the Residential Tenancies Act 1957, I cannot charge for them except by including a specified amount for them in the rent. I would not be able to assess how much a given person uses of electricity gas or water including variance in use, so I cannot fairly assess a fixed charge.

    Does signing a Tenancy Agreement change a person from a licensee to a tenant?

    If a person who is unmistakably a lodger signs a Tenancy Agreement, does that utility prescription still apply? Should I stick to a Flatmates Agreement? How do others deal with this issue fairly?
     
  2. John Stericker

    Joined:
    9 July 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Asher,

    Really good question, and certainly a "grey area" when it comes to specific laws. Tenancy laws are changing and being updated all the time, and they are specific to States and Territories. You will need to check the specific legislation for your state. Tenancy advocacy groups also have agreement examples on their websites.

    You could also allow a provision in the agreement for either a set amount or % of the utilities. As long as both parties sign, then it is closer to being a "legal document" between two parties. It's just being clear about the intentions from the start.

    It is a tough one as the utility amount may fluctuate from month to month. It might be worthwhile allowing for any fluctuations as you consider the fixed or % amount specified in the agreement.
    The Community legal centres in each state are very helpful and may assist over the phone.

    Good luck, let us know how you go!
     

Share This Page

Loading...