Can live-in landlords have tenancy agreements with flatmates?

Question from Dana updated on 14th January 2008:

I own a house that I'm living in. I have one tenant and am looking for another. I haven't used any form of tenancy agreement for my tenant, and I note that the Residential Tenancies Act excludes property where the landlord lives in the property from requiring a tenancy agreement. I have required two weeks bond, and require two weeks notice, and require two weeks rent in advance. Does the contract between my tenants and I become a verbal or written contract outside the Tenancy Act? If so, would email correspondence count as a binding contract? Are there any other issues for me to consider as a live-in landlord?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Situations where the landlord lives in the property are excluded from all requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act, unless the tenant(s) and the landlord agree in writing that they will be covered by the Act. Therefore, I suggest you consult your local Community Law Centre or Citizens Advice Bureau for advice and information on tenancy and flatting arrangements that are not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.

You might also like to consider having a written agreement between you and your flatmates. You can view an example of an agreement at

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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