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Dealing with difficult housemates

By George Hadgelias

Loud noise, refusal to pay rent and constant battles over housework – housemates can create plenty of drama.

Here are some options if that happens to you.

Legal options for hellish housemates

Getting rid of hellish housemates isn’t a matter of simply showing them the door. Ursula Hogben, general counsel of LegalVision, says it all comes down to the lease agreement.

If the housemate’s name is on the lease, then the housemate has the same legal right to stay living in the same place as you,” she says.

“If the housemate is a sub-tenant (their name is not on the lease), and there is a written agreement, then 90 days written notice is required to advise them of their eviction.

“If the housemate is the head tenant and your name is not on the lease, then the housemate is effectively the landlord and has the right to occupy the place.”

Advice: Rental home horrors & how to solve them

Avoiding housemate dramas

Sharing a space can be psychologically taxing. The Tenants Union of Victoria advises face-to-face discussions to resolve any problems as soon as they occur.

The TUV suggest developing a set of house rules to ensure the same problems don’t keep arising. These rules may cover noise levels, how long visitors can stay and who is responsible for paying the rent.

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