WHAT IS A BOARDING PREMISES?
A Boarding premises is defined under the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 as a room and any other facilities provided with the room where the room is occupied as a principal place of residence and any of the bathroom, toilet or kitchen facilities are shared with other persons.
The Act does not consider a premise which; contains less than three boarding rooms and the owner occupies the same building or where the tenant occupies the building and subleases out rooms, as boarding premises.
The Act does not apply to premises which are tertiary institution based, student accommodation.
The Residential Tenancy Commissioner may investigate complaints made by tenants of a boarding premise and can make an order that either party comply with the Act or with a term of the agreement.
WHAT IS IN THE ACT?
Part 4A of the Act applies solely to boarding premises in Tasmania. It states that:
- Costs of meals and any other services provided should be specified separately from the rent. Receipts must list these amounts paid separately.
- There is to be access to a toilet and hand washing facilities at all times and reasonable use of a bathroom at least once a day.
- Bathroom and toilet facilities must be fitted with a device to ensure privacy
- The owner is required to keep in working order, the bathrooms, toilets and other facilities shared by the tenants.
- Entrances to Boarding Premises are to be fitted with locking devices to secure the premises
- All locks and locking devices must be maintained by the landlord/agent during the tenancy.
- An owner must not allow more than one person to occupy a room unless they are joint tenants, or unless one of them is a carer for the other.
- If meals are provided they must be provided within the following times:
- Breakfast – 6 am to 9 am.
- Lunch – 12 midday to 2 pm.
- Dinner– 5 pm to 8 pm.
INFORMATION FOR TENANTS
Terms of Agreement
The Act requires an owner to give the tenant a written statement of the terms of agreement when entering the lease. This is to be signed by both parties and should include:
- the names of the owner and tenant
- the location of the premises
- the facilities provided
- the beginning and end dates of the agreement
- the amount of rent and/or costs associated
The owner must keep a copy of the signed statement of key terms for at least six months after the agreement ends.
A copy of any house rules should be given to the tenant when they sign the lease. The house rules should be posted in a prominent place, where a tenant can have access to inspect them at any time.
Rules are to apply equally to all tenants and are to state:
- Meal times, if meals are provided.
- Any facilities provided for the use of the tenant and any associated costs or restrictions.
- Rules relating to access to bathroom and shower facilities.
- Restrictions on visitor access.
- Restrictions on parking or storage.
- Restrictions on the consumption of alcohol or smoking.
- A method of changing the house rules
- How the views of tenants are to be considered in the making of house rules.
- These house rules should be displayed and easily accessible by all tenants.
Many of the standard regulations in the Act also apply to boarding premises, however several are modified specifically for a Boarding Premise as follows:
- The payment period must not exceed two weeks
- A Bond is not required
- General Repairs are to be carried out in 7 days
- A notice to terminate by a tenant must provide at least 2 clear days written notice
- An owner can enter the boarding premise to carry out an inspection once every month, but they must give at least 24 hours notice written notice
- An owner must fit each room with a lock and any other device that is necessary to secure the room
- An owner is to provide the tenant with a telephone number or other means of contacting the owner at any time
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not legal advice. It is intended as a guide only. It applies only to legislation current in Tasmania as at 1 October 2014. For information regarding a specific tenancy problem please phone the Tenants’ Union on 1300 652 641 or (03) 6223 2641. The Tenants’ Union of Tasmania Inc. accepts no responsibility for actions based on this information, nor for actions based on electronic translations of this.