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You should always meet your new flatmate before entering an agreement or paying any money. Preferably, this means meeting in person at an inspection of the property. If this is not possible, you could organise a Skype or phone call instead. To make sure a place is the right fit, it is best for the new flatmate to meet everybody living there before making any commitments.
Tip: Remember, you’re going to be living with the potential flatmates, so it is very important to find people you know you can get along with.
The people offering and looking for a room should exchange basic details including:
Tip: It is also a good idea to view the other person’s ID when you meet them.
You should discuss what type of agreement you’re going to use. Flatmates.com.au recommends using a residential tenancy agreement in more share accommodation situations.
Read more about the different types of share accommodation agreements.
If the person offering the room requires a bond, you will need to discuss how it will work.
Read more about bonds.
You’ll need to negotiate how much the rent is and how it will be paid.
Tip: direct bank transfer is the safest way to pay rent. Never use untraceable money transfer systems like Western Union.
Read more about paying rent.
It is very important to discuss how bills are paid. This allows a potential flatmate to decide whether they can afford to live in the share house.
Read more about paying bills.
The new flatmate needs to know if they will need to bring their own furniture.
In a share house, generally each flatmate has their own room and access to shared facilities.
The existing flatmates often have house rules about chores and other matters. The new flatmate should be made aware of these before making any commitments.
Read more about rights and obligations during the tenancy.
Understanding when and how the agreement can end will help to avoid disputes in the future.
Read more about ending the agreement.
These legal guides provide a brief summary and introduction of the laws and regulations affecting share accommodation. They do not cover all cases in all legal jurisdictions and might not apply in your specific share accommodation situation. It is important that you use this information as a guide only and seek independent Legal Advice or consult the Relevant Acts. We do not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.