Can I enter a rental agreement in NSW if I'm under 18?

Published 30 Apr 2019

In NSW, it's possible for someone under the age of 18 to enter into a Residential Tenancy Agreement. The contract is binding, as long as the individual has fully understood what they're signing and it's for their benefit.

Additionally, a landlord is unable to discriminate against a person based on their age. Unless there are other issues that support their reasons for turning someone under 18 down as a tenant, they are not legally able to use your age as a reason.

Leaving home when you're under 18

According to the law in NSW, a person under the age of 18 doesn't have an absolute right to leave home when they so choose. However, there's also no law that stops them from leaving. Generally, if they're over 16, no one will force them to return home unless they're at risk of violence or abuse where they're staying. 

On the other hand, no child or person under the age of 18, should be forced to return to a home that is not safe for them. In matters where the individual is in need of care, the law may intervene on their behalf to assist in the situation and keep the person safe and secure. 

Entering into a contract or lease when you're under 18

If you're under the age of 18 and choose to leave home, you are able to enter into a Residential Tenancy Agreement to secure yourself lodgings in NSW. There are only two main requirements when it comes to legally entering into a contract or lease:

  • It's for your benefit -  Being under 18 you can't be bound by unfair or exploitative transactions. As long as the tenancy agreement is fair, reasonable and benefits you, there is nothing stopping you from entering into it.
  • You understand what is involved - If you're mature enough to understand what is involved in the lease and all associated rights and responsibilities, you are legally allowed to enter into the contract.

If you'd like to ensure the Residential Tenancy Agreement is right for you, or you have a dispute that you need to settle with your landlords, it's important that you invest in professional advice. Make sure you reach out to the team at Malouf Solicitors today to receive the help you need.

Please call us on 02 8833 2000 to speak with a lawyer

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