How to Sublet Your Room in Victoria for Short-Term Rentals
Are you planning to go on holiday or travel for an extended period, but worried about paying dead rent for your room while you're away? Subletting your room for short terms or vacation rentals could be the perfect solution. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of subletting your room in Melbourne/Victoria, helping you navigate the legal requirements and make the most of your time away.
Why You Should Sublet Your Room#
Subletting your room offers numerous benefits, particularly in the context of the current housing market and cost of living. Here are the key points of consideration:
- Save money while you travel: Paying dead rent in an expensive capital city such as Melbourne can really add up. Subletting allows you to avoid paying dead rent, so you can allocate more funds to your travel experiences.
- Maintain your tenancy: By subletting your room, you can keep your rental agreement intact, ensuring you have a place to return to after your travels.
- Help someone else find a temporary home: With the ongoing housing shortage crisis, subletting your room can provide much-needed accommodation for someone seeking short-term housing.
- Contribute to easing the housing market: By offering your room as a short-term rental, you are helping to address the housing shortage and rising costs of living.
- Flexibility: Subletting provides greater flexibility compared to finding a new housemate and signing them onto the lease. It allows for a temporary arrangement without long-term commitments, making it easier to adjust to changes in your living situation or travel plans.
1. Ask your landlord for permission#
Before you start looking for a subtenant, it's crucial to get your landlord's permission. Use a template to make the request and follow up if they do not respond. At the bottom of this page is an example template you can use.
If your landlord is uncooperative, mention VCAT and explain your rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, which states that you cannot be unreasonably refused permission to sublet.
2. Post your property on Sharehouse (or another platform)#
Once you have permission, it's time to advertise your room. Sharehouse is a popular platform for finding subtenants, but other options include Facebook groups and local community boards. If your listing isn't getting much attention, consider sharing it with friends or updating the ad with more appealing photos and descriptions.
3. Write a sublet agreement#
A sublet agreement outlines the terms and conditions of your arrangement with the subtenant. Use a template to ensure all necessary information is included, such as the rental period, rent amount, and any conditions regarding bills and utilities. Be sure to clarify how rent and bills will be paid during your absence, whether it's a flat rate or a portion of the expenses. Make sure the subtenant understands their financial responsibilities. For a comprehensive sublet agreement template, visit LawDepot.
4. Vet your candidates#
Trust is a crucial aspect of any subletting arrangement. To ensure the safety and security of your property, ask potential subtenants for ID verification and consider using Sharehouse's verification tools. Meeting your candidates in person or through video calls can also help you gauge their trustworthiness and compatibility with your living situation.
5. Lodge a bond#
To protect yourself from potential damages or unpaid rent, lodge a bond with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) within 10 business days. You can do this by visiting the RTBA website. For a comprehensive overview of rental bonds in Victoria be sure to read our guide on bonds.
6. Provide them with details#
Once you've chosen a subtenant, provide them with important property details, such as access information and any areas that are off-limits. This ensures a smooth transition and minimizes potential misunderstandings.
7. Prepare your room & Go on holiday#
Before leaving, take photos of your room to document its condition. Clean the room thoroughly, remove any personal items you don't want the subtenant to use, and provide basic furnishings and amenities. Finally, inform the subtenant that the RTBA will release the bond at the end of the fixed tenancy date. For more information, visit Tenants Victoria's guide on bonds.
Frequently Asked Questions#
What are my responsibilities as the head renter?#
As the head renter, you must:
- Ensuring that the property meets the rental minimum standards
- Help to deal with urgent repairs
- Understand your obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997
- Ensure the subletting agreement is in writing
- Provide a copy of the agreement to the subtenant
- Be responsible for any breaches of the agreement by the subtenant
Why should I sublet my room?#
Subletting your room allows you to:
- Save money while you travel
- Avoid paying dead rent
- Help someone else find a temporary home
What should I look for in a subtenant?#
When choosing a subtenant, consider:
- Compatibility with your living situation
- A good rental history
What should I do if my landlord says no?#
If your landlord refuses your request to sublet, you should:
- Understand your rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997
- Consider contacting the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for assistance
- Read the 'Permission to sub-let' clause on Consumer VIC's website
What are the benefits of using a platform like Sharehouse?#
- Provides a safe and secure way to find a subtenant
- Offers tools for vetting potential candidates
- Handles payments, contracts, and other logistics
Subletting your room can be a great way to save money on rent while you're away, but it's important to follow the right steps to ensure that everything is legal and safe. By getting permission from your landlord, using a platform to post your property, and vetting your candidates, you can find a subtenant who will respect your property and follow the rules.
Remember to understand your responsibilities as the head renter and take advantage of the additional resources available to you. With the right preparation, you can enjoy your travels without worrying about your empty room.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. We seek to provide a simple guide and overview of subletting your room. It's important to do your own research and seek legal advice if necessary.
Example sublet request#
Send this to your landlord/property manager
Dear [Landlord Name],
I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to request your permission to sublet my room at [Property Address] for a short-term rental. My intention is to sublet the room from [Start Date] to [End Date] while I am away for [Reason for Travel].
I understand the importance of finding a reliable and trustworthy subtenant to ensure the property is well-maintained during my absence. I will take all necessary steps to thoroughly vet potential subtenants, including checking references and verifying their rental history. I will also ensure that a written sublet agreement is in place, outlining the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement.
As required by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, I am seeking your written consent to proceed with this arrangement. I kindly request that you respond to this request within [Number of Days] days.
If you have any concerns or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am committed to maintaining open communication and working together to ensure a smooth and successful subletting process.
Thank you for considering my request, and I look forward to your response.
[Your Contact Information]