Section 1

General Issues

Sub-Section 1.14

Shared Accommodation


no legislative references


Implied tenancy agreement: even though a tenant and landlord didn’t formally commit themselves to a tenancy agreement, in writing or orally, their actions toward each other indicate a tenancy was formed. For example: a tenant pays the rent and a landlord accepts it.

Shared accommodation:a home owner allows someone to occupy a room in their house. For example: a student lives in a room in the owner’s home and they share food and meals.

Tenancy agreement: a contract between a landlord and a tenant for a tenant that sets out the basic rules for living in a rental unit. It can be written, oral or implied.


The Branch deals with written, oral or implied tenancy agreements, not shared accommodation arrangements.

The following conditions usually indicate that a tenancy exists:

  • the door to the individual’s private room has a lock and key;
  • the individual has a key for the door to the main entrance;
  • the individual supplies their own food and makes their own meals in their unit or cooks their own meals in a shared kitchen;
  • the individual is responsible for their own housekeeping; and to provide and launder their own bedding and linens;
  • the individual and the owner don’t have a current or previous family or personal relationship. For example: the individuals who live/lived in the house were parent and child, siblings (i.e. sisters), husband and wife.

Arrangements that don't meet the above conditions are more likely to be shared accommodation, not tenancies.




This policy is included as information for landlords, tenants and officers. If a tenant or landlord isn’t certain if their arrangement is a tenancy or shared accommodation, they can ask the Branch for help to clarify their rights and responsibilities.

Steps ▼

1.To help decide if a living arrangement is a shared accommodation or a tenancy agreement, the officer considers:

  • the kind of relationship that there is between the person and the homeowner. For example: Is a parent renting a room or basement suite to a child? Does the person share bathroomfacilities with other people who live in the house?

  • whether or not the conditions set out in policy exist.

2.If there is a tenancy, the officer encourages the tenant, landlord or homeowner, to share information, and to discuss the problem to try to come to an agreement. If there isn’t a tenancy, the homeowner or occupant may want to talk to a lawyer about how to proceed.

3.When a tenant, landlord or homeowner asks the Branch for help with a problem, the officer follows the procedures for:

    • mediation
    • hearing

Forms & Form Letters


For more information on Mediation, see this section.
Orders of Possession, are covered in Section 8.
For details on Hearings, see Section 11.

Policy Developed

September, 1992

Last Revision

March, 2004

Other Resources


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