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When you get a flatmate in your own house

If you own a house, you can get people to occupy the spare bedrooms and help with the bills.

When you get a flatmate in your own house, you’re not automatically covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.

It’s a good idea to use a flat-sharing agreement.

The flat-sharing agreement could include:

  • how much the flatmate will pay a week and how they’ll pay it
  • what’s included — for example, power, phone, use of the kitchen
  • any bond they’ll pay
  • how much notice they should give you before they move out
  • rules for visitors and overnight stays
  • any other rules — for example pets, smoking.

You can download a flat-sharing agreement template from the Tenancy Services website:

Flat/house sharing agreement

Get covered by the Residential Tenancies Act

You can choose to get your situation covered by the Residential Tenancies Act — everyone needs to sign an agreement about which parts of the Act apply.

How to get tenancy law to cover you

Taxing income from flatmates

If you get income from flatmates, you must pay tax on it.

If you’re a landlord, you’re in business

Your tax obligations

Solving problems with your flatmate

If you have a dispute with your flatmate, you can get help.

The Disputes Tribunal

Citizens Advice Bureau

Find a Community Law Centre

The Tenancy Tribunal only handles disputes between landlords and tenants. They cannot help with disputes between flatmates.

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