Co-renting is when several people rent a property together, such as in a share house. Co-renting used to be called co-tenancy or joint tenancy.
Each co-renter signs the rental agreement and all co-renters are equally responsible for paying rent and taking care of the property. A rental agreement used to be called a lease.
This is different to sub-letting, where some people are renting from a head renter rather than directly from the rental provider (previously called a landlord). This can only be done with the permission of the rental provider.
When someone co-rents, they can be held responsible for the actions of the other co-renters who are listed on the rental agreement. This means they can be asked to pay co-renters’ unpaid rent, or pay to fix damage they caused, even if they have moved out.
For example, if you move into a rented apartment with a friend, and both of your names are on the rental agreement, you are co-renters. If your housemate is late paying their share of the rent for a few months, both of you will be ‘in arrears’, and could be told to leave the apartment, even though you have been paying your share on time.
When someone moves out, you must get the rental provider’s consent before someone else moves in. It’s important to transfer the rental agreement so that all the co-renters are listed on the agreement.
Disagreements between co-renters
If co-renters disagree about their renting arrangements, such as a dispute about bills or changing details on the rental agreement, they should try to work it out together.
We cannot help with disputes between co-renters, and co-renters cannot apply to VCAT to help you resolve this kind of dispute either. However, the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria may be able to help.
Paying the bond as co-renters
Co-renters usually each pay an equal share of the bond.
If someone moves out and another person moves in as a co-renter, they must transfer their portion of the bond within 5 days of the new person moving in. This is important because at the end of the rental agreement, the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) will only release the bond if all the renters on the agreement can provide their signatures.
Forms you might need
To transfer the bond:
- Look up your bond on RTBA Online using your bond receipt number, and then you can create a Transfer a bond form.
Renting law reforms
Victoria introduced new language as part of reforms to renting laws in 2021.
Landlords are now called rental providers
Tenants are now called renters
Leases are now called rental agreements.
You can read about these and other changes in a summary of the reforms or in detailed fact sheets and guides.
Sections of the Act
If you want to know what the law says about co-renting, you can read these sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997:
- Section 25 – Notice of assignment or transfer by renter
- Section 81 – Assignment and sub-letting by a renter.