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How to Add a Housemate or Partner to Your Lease

By George Hadgelias

Just like in the rest of our lives, changes with housing arrangements are likely to occur over time. Partners and housemates can come and go and it becomes necessary to update the record with a landlord.

While tenancy legislation differs state-to-state, the general principles of adding someone new to a lease – whether it’s a spouse or a new housemate – are the same and involve working closely with your Property Manager.

Here’s how to add a housemate or partner to your lease.

Do I need to add everyone living at my house to my lease?

There are two ways people can inhabit a property; as a leaseholder or what is known as an approved occupant.

The leaseholder or leaseholders – determined by many variables, including rental affordability – have a legal obligation to meet the tenant contract and can be held liable for late rent payments or damage by them or the approved occupants

For example, if you have a family of three; Mum, Dad and a 20-year-old son, while the 20-year-old is old enough to be a leaseholder, he might only work casually and be unable to afford the rent. So, Mum and Dad are the actual leaseholders, and the son would be listed as an approved occupant.

Partner or spouse

While a partner or spouse can be listed as a leaseholder, they can also be added as an approved occupant.

It all comes down to the criteria for renting that property, (which takes into account) references, affordability and rental history.


A housemate or friend over the age of 18 who lives at the house should be listed on the lease, either as a leaseholder or approved occupant.

CLICK HERE for more information.

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