Boarding houses: Renting a room
Overview: How you’re protected
If you’re renting a room in a boarding house rather than renting a house or flat, you still have some protections in the Residential Tenancies Act. The Act sets out rules about things like how much notice is needed to end the tenancy, how often the landlord can raise the rent, and when they can come into your room.
But those protections don’t apply to:
- Short stays – that is, if you’re only intending to stay for less than four weeks (28 days).
- Smaller boarding houses – that is, those that aren’t intended to take more than five tenants.
If the Residential Tenancies Act doesn’t cover your boarding house tenancy, you’ll still be covered by standard consumer laws about services, which means that the accommodation has to be of acceptable quality (see “Consumer protection”). Ordinary contract law also requires you and the landlord to do everything you’ve agreed to do, even if you don’t have a written agreement, and you can take any dispute to the Disputes Tribunal (see “The Disputes Tribunal”). Your boarding house could also be covered by city council bylaws – contact your local council to find out about these.