We get it. You’ve finally moved into that incredible house in the inner north of Melbourne. Your new flatmates are great and you’re looking forward to the friendships that will emerge. You’re exhausted after looking for a place for the past month but tonight you can sleep easy in your new room.
You live with 5 people, but not everyone is on the lease. That’s fine right? They’re all reliable people who’ll do the right thing, right? With results from our 2020 National Share Accommodation Survey showing that nearly a third of you only have a verbal rental agreement or no agreement at all, we thought it was time to school y’all on the importance of getting your agreement in writing.
While most share houses that have applied for a rental together will be on an official lease agreement, as people come and go and the original house format changes and partners move in, it can be easy to leave some people off the lease, which can lead to serious issues. If a formal rental agreement with the RTBA isn’t available (due to a sublease, in-house landlord, sole-lease holder, quick move-in etc) at least, for your own health and good fortune, get your own agreement in writing.
Here’s five reasons why you (and everyone else in the house) should be on the lease, from someone* who learnt the hard way.
Everyone wants their bond back at the end of the lease, no matter how much they hate cleaning. This ensures everyone chips in if something goes wrong. Whether it’s mould in the bathroom or tackling the garden that has now turned into the Forbidden Forest, at least you won’t be the only dog in the fight when Moving Day looms.
Speaking from experience, if you make it mandatory that everyone in the house be on the lease, there won’t be any chance of someone’s friend moving into the back shed and just “chipping in for power and gas.”
You’ve received that dreaded letter that you have an upcoming inspection. The remnants of last fortnight’s party are still present on the sticky kitchen floor and that pot of Chilli Con Carne won’t wash itself. You need an army. Rally the flatmates!
On the very off chance that you are dealt a bad hand and you have a dispute with the landlord, you won’t be the only one left to battle it out at your state’s CAT (Civil and Administrative Tribunal). Whilst you had fun in the house, you are by no means accountable for the damage of five other people.
You’ll sleep easy at night knowing that everyone in the house has their name on the lease or you have your agreement in writing. You’ll sleep even better if you found your cohabitants through Flatmates.com.au, where people and their profiles are vetted and monitored to ensure you’re matched with the best people.
If you can’t get on an official agreement and you can’t be bothered marking up your own, why don’t you try our very own Flatmates Agreement. It’s free!
*Claudia learnt the hard way about living with people who weren’t on the lease, when a random man moved into her back shed and she had to go to VCAT for damages she didn’t cause. If you’re looking for a new flatmate, Flatmates.com.au is the place to get searching and for the love of all share houses, make sure you get each new flatmate on that lease.