Find out how much notice to give, and what you need to do, at the end of your boarding house tenancy.

In a boarding house, tenants rent single rooms or a sleeping area in a room they share with other tenants. They also share any facilities, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

About boarding houses

Giving notice to end a boarding house tenancy

Tenants giving notice

A boarding house tenant can end their tenancy with 48 hours’ notice. Even though this notice doesn’t have to be in writing, it’s a good idea for tenants to put it in writing and keep a copy for themselves.

Landlords giving notice

A boarding house landlord normally needs to give the tenant 28 days’ written notice. There are some exceptions to this.

A boarding house landlord can end the tenancy immediately if the tenant has:

  • caused, or threatened to cause, serious damage to the boarding house;
  • endangered, or threatened to endanger, people or property;
  • caused, or threatened to cause, serious disruption to other tenants.

The landlord can end the tenancy with 48 hours’ written notice if:

  • the tenant doesn’t pay overdue rent within 10 days of receiving written notice to do so;
  • the tenant is using the boarding house for an illegal purpose;
  • the rent is overdue and the landlord considers on reasonable grounds the tenant has abandoned the room (after inspecting the room and, if possible, making contact with the tenant’s contact person (if any) identified in the tenants tenancy agreement.

If a tenant abandons the boarding house

What the notice must contain

  • be in writing
  • include the date the notice is given
  • include the date the tenancy is to end 
  • include the reason for ending the tenancy (unless 28 days’ notice is given, in which case a reason isn’t required)
  • include the name of the tenant 
  • include the name, contact address and telephone number of the landlord or their agent.

Retaliatory notice

It is unlawful for a landlord to issue a retaliatory notice. A ‘retaliatory notice’ is where a landlord gives a notice to a tenant to end a tenancy in retaliation for a tenant standing up for their rights. For example, if the tenant makes a complaint about the tenancy.

If a landlord issues a retaliatory notice, the tenant can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the notice set aside. The tenant has to apply within 28 working days of receiving the notice.

What the tenant must do at the end of their tenancy

At the end of the tenancy, the tenant must:

  • leave the boarding house
  • remove all their private property
  • leave their room in a reasonably clean and tidy condition, and remove all rubbish
  • return any keys, pass cards and other security devices to the landlord
  • leave behind everything (such as furniture) that the landlord provided for tenants to use.

If a tenant abandons the boarding house

If a tenant has overdue rent, and the landlord believes they have abandoned the boarding house, the landlord:

  • can put a notice on the tenant’s door. This notice advises the tenant that the landlord will enter the room in 24 hours to confirm whether or not the tenant has abandoned the tenancy
  • must make all reasonable efforts to contact the contact person (if any) identified in the tenancy agreement.

The landlord must not enter the room until at least 24 hours after putting the notice on the door.

Once the landlord has inspected the room and considers, on reasonable grounds, the tenancy has been abandoned, they must give the tenant a further 48 hours’ notice to end the tenancy. This notice must be placed on the door of the room and include the time and date that the tenancy will end.

Abandoned premises or goods

If a tenant dies

A boarding house tenancy ends 48 hours after the death of a sole tenant under the tenancy.