Private Boarder agreement: licence to rent a room
Use this boarder agreement to rent a room in your home to one or more people. This agreement creates a licence to use the property, with far fewer legal requirements for the landlord than a lease or a tenancy agreement.
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About this private boarder agreement
This document grants permission to one or more people to occupy a room in your home under the terms agreed.
There is no requirement to have a formal written legal agreement with your boarder, but having one clarifies what the boarder can expect in the arrangement, and provides a reference point should any dispute occur in the future.
Whether you’re renting a room to a friend for a month or two, or wanting a long term boarder, there are practical and legal advantages of having the rental terms in writing.
The law relating to this document
In legal terminology, this document is called "a licence to occupy" and gives a boarder permission to live in a property without creating a tenancy.
If you are taking a boarder in as a flat or house mate, this is the document you should use. We recommend granting a licence on a short-term basis (less than 12 months) and renewing it when it expires.
When to use this licence
This private boarding agreement would most commonly be used in the following circumstances:
- A property owner renting out a spare bedroom (to a stranger, a friend, or a couple)
- A student owner landlord renting spare rooms in a property to other students
It is suitable for any type of property: flats or houses, and can be used to let more than one room in the same property. You can reuse it for subsequent boarders.
You can also use this agreement to sub-let a room if you rent under a tenancy agreement (subject to your tenancy agreement allowing sub-letting) and subject to someone on the original tenancy agreement still living at the address
The document is not suitable if:
- The boarder will run a business from the property
- The boarder will occupy the whole property and the landlord lives elsewhere
- The property is occupied or intended to be occupied by at least six boarders at once. (In this condition tenancy law does apply and your boarder / tenant is protected under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986)
Some helpful and practical pointers for private boarding agreements
Mentioned in the help notes to this document (along with others) are the following pointers:
- Taking a deposit (a bond) can be done (and is covered in this agreement) but we advise that if you can avoid doing so, you should. A court may see a bond as pointing toward this arrangement being a tenancy.
- Work in to your agreement the right for you to enter the room rented to your boarder at any time. Although this needs to be done discretely, avoiding giving the boarder exclusive occupation of the property helps identify your arrangement as a licence rather than a tenancy.
- Living with a boarder can be less pleasant once you’ve given him or her notice. Consider a short term. The expectation of a short arrangement will make giving notice easier (e.g. you can mention that you don’t plan to renew, rather than that you want your boarder to leave).
Agreement features and contents
- Includes sensible, practical provisions to protect the landlord’s interests
- Full description of the property and the services that the boarder should expect to receive
- All likely provisions for restrictions on what the boarder may do in the property
- Rent period and amount
This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current New Zealand law.
What other customers thought
Average customer rating
By Mark Ensom 05 April 2017
By Stephen Toman 02 February 2017
An excellent service thanks, a mere $19 and I have what I need.
By Linda Farr 09 May 2016
The document was able to be changed to suit my specific needs for the lodger.
It covered more information than I expected and so made the (contract) more specific and therefore better clarity for both parties.
By Isobel Ford 10 September 2015
"Immediately accessible.Easy to understand. Easy to edit. Useful user notes. Thanks - this was just what I needed for the circumstances & there did not seem to be anything else available when I did an internet search.
Reduce the line spacings to single line spacings with 0pnt before & after. Let the user put in extra line spacings for clarity if they wish otherwise you end up with too many pages.
Suggest in user notes that the user saves the edited agreement as a pdf if they are going to share it electronically for the lodgers reference."
Net Lawman responds 05 October 2015
Good ideas on format issues. We try to keep it very simple because many customers are not good with word processing and those who are, like you, know how to get what layout you want.
By Shirley Collins 08 June 2017
It was great thanks. Just what I needed and great to buy online and good help sheets, have recommended you to others.
By Shesadev Sahoo 23 September 2016
The letter head needs to be more professional looking, may be needed a place where we can upload a logo of business or photo
Net Lawman responds 11 October 2016
This is a legal agreement, not a letter. Of course you can format it as you wish - on a letterhead or in any other way.
By Rod Crocker 14 February 2014
"I used Netlawman to pre-work some contracts for my lawyer. He came back stating that the forms were 'excellent' and saved me several billable hours."Chris T.
"I have found the product exactly what I wanted and the notes helpful - as well as it being easy to locate, buy and download. There should be a better way of making your product more widely known. I have recently had experience of a tailor-made lease and this left a lot to be desired - whereas your product is well researched and ticks all the boxes."Ted
"...Yes very useful. I understand the terminology etc as I've seen a fair few legal docs before. Notes are very helpful. Gives me some base insight without the expense of a solicitor! "John K