Boarding is agreeing to live in part of a property owned by someone else.  Boarding premises are different to renting – you’ll have your own lockable bedroom, access to a bathroom and either access to a kitchen or prepared meals. There may be other boarders there too.

You will enter into a written occupancy or boarding agreement with the person you are boarding with – this agreement doesn’t have to be in writing, but it is best if it is. If the occupancy or boarding agreement is in writing, it should contain:

  • the names of the parties;
  • the period for which you will be boarding;
  • a list of amenities or facilities that will be provided;
  • the amount of board payable; and
  • any other terms and conditions surrounding your stay.

You should keep a copy of the signed occupancy or boarding agreement for your records.

You may also be given a copy of the house rules – make sure you read through the house rules, as breaking these rules may lead to serious consequences such as being evicted.

The person you are boarding with may also provide you with an itemised receipt for your board which must detail any extra costs such as meals (which must be provided at set times each day) if they are included.

The benefit of boarding is that you are not tied into a lease and that, depending on your agreement with the owner, you may only have to provide a short period of notice that you intend to leave.

Some of the disadvantages of boarding are that you cannot control who is able to visit or reside at the property (you do not have ‘exclusive possession’), and that the owner may only have to give you a short period of notice to leave.

If you have any problems or queries regarding boarding you can contact Consumer Affairs and Trading through their website or by phone on 1300 654 499.

FYI – In Tasmania, these rules do not apply to boarding premises that are mainly in use for university students or TAFE students.