Living with Flatmates

10 Reasons to Ask A Flatmate to Leave

Dirty dishes in the sink, unpaid rent, loud music – is it time to ask your flatmate to move out? Asking a flatmate to leave can be stressful, difficult, emotional and sometimes even dangerous. We’ve put together this guide to help you decide if you have a valid reason to ask a flatmate to leave and where you can find more information or advice.

Sometimes flatmates have annoying habits or do things differently to us. We know it’s not easy living with a flatmate that prefers to do the dishes at 10.00pm while everyone else is trying to sleep. In these types of scenarios, it is better to raise your concerns with your flatmate and find a solution or compromise. For example, changing the housework chore schedule if your flatmate works shifts and comes home late.

So, in which circumstances can you ask a flatmate to leave? Each case is different. Many times, it is complicated by each flatmate’s position in the share house. For example, the head tenant’s position is very different to flatmates that are boarders/lodgers under the law. Here are our top 10 reasons why you may wish to ask a flatmate to leave:

  1. Not paying rent
  2. Not paying expenses
  3. Consistent late payment of rent &/or expenses
  4. Illegal/criminal activity
  5. Physical and/or verbal abuse
  6. Harassing and/or intimidating other flatmates
  7. Stealing from flatmates
  8. Damage to property
  9. Complaints to landlord/real estate agent about flatmates e.g. loud noise
  10. Breaking any legal agreements

To find out more where you stand or the legal position of another flatmate in your share house, you can contact your state’s tenancy board, legal aid service or hire a solicitor. Tenancy boards and legal help services can give you a clearer picture whether you can ask a flatmate to leave. Only solicitors can provide you or your share house accurate legal advice on whether you can ask a flatmate to move out based on your own unique circumstances. We’ve put together a list of resources for each Australian state that you access to help you find legal information, advice or representation.

New South Wales

Tenants NSW – Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services
Tenants NSW – Factsheet 15: Share Housing
LawAccess NSW

Australian Capital Territory

Tenants’ Union ACT Inc. – Share Housing Booklet: Crowded House: A legal guide to share housing in the ACT
Legal Aid ACT – Legal Advice
Legal Aid ACT – Legal Aid Helpline


Tenants Victoria – Shared Households
Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria


Tenants Queensland – Sharehouse Fact Sheets
Tenants Queensland – Need Advice
Community Legal Centres Queensland

South Australia

Government of South Australia – Sharing a Private Property
Legal Services Commission of South Australia

Western Australia

Tenancy WA – Shared Tenancies Factsheet
Tenancy WA – Need Advice
Community Legal Centres Association WA


Tenants’ Union of Tasmania – Share House Living Factsheet
Tenants’ Union of Tasmania – Advice and Legal Representation Services

Northern Territory

Darwin Community Legal Service – Tenant’s Advice Service

When you or your share house feel it is time to ask flatmate to leave, taking the right steps in the beginning can help you avoid complications and legal issues further down the track. You may even find it is easier or less legally complicated if you move out or set up a new share house without your flatmate.

Whether you reach a compromise with your flatmate over an annoying habit or make the decision to ask them to move out, we hope you will soon be living in a positive share housing environment again.

Our Disclaimer: all the information in this blog post/article should be used as a guide only and should not be substituted for legal advice, legal help or legal representation. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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