Sub-letting is when a tenant rents out all or part of the property to someone else. The letting tenant becomes the head-tenant. The relationship between the head-tenant and the sub-tenant is the same as the relationship between the lessor and the tenant, in that the head-tenant takes on the responsibilities of a lessor. These responsibilities include:
- Collecting money for rent, bond and other bills.
- Property condition reports and inspections.
- Organising repairs and maintenance (through their own lessor/agent).
Agreements between head-tenants and sub-tenants can be verbal or written. They must be in the prescribed residential tenancy agreement.
An agreement between a head-tenant and a sub-tenant should not be for a period longer than the head-tenant’s lease with the lessor/agent.
Sub-tenants can also be co-tenants if there is more than one tenant living in the property on the same agreement.
When is sub-letting allowed?
In order to sub-let a property, the head-tenant must have permission from their lessor/agent, which can either be written into their tenancy agreement or by separate written consent.
The head-tenant must lodge any bond they collect with the Bond Administrator, listing the sub‑tenant as the tenant, and the head tenant as the lessor.
When a sub-tenant moves out
Moving in and out of the property proceeds as normal, with the head-tenant carrying out tasks such as a property inspection and returning bond money. However, if there are two or more sub-tenants on one agreement with the head-tenant, it is a co-tenancy, so moving in and out proceeds as such.
When the head-tenant ends their tenancy
If a head-tenant ends their tenancy, the agreement with sub-tenants also ends, however the correct notices and notice periods are required to be provided. The sub-tenants may not have the right to remain in the property without the permission of the owner of the property.
Any remaining sub-tenant/s, wishing to remain in the property will need to negotiate a new tenancy agreement with the lessor/agent or a person replacing the head-tenant. The bond then needs to be varied accordingly using a Variation of Security Bond form.
Any bond monies can be settled privately between the parties.
For more information, you can call Consumer Protection on 1300 304 054.
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