Boarders' Rights


Persons who take up room and board in an occupied dwelling have legal rights even while occupying a domicile that they do not own. Thinking about becoming a boarder or taking in boarders? Know boarders' rights before laying down the rules of the dwelling place.

Definition of Boarder

  • A boarder is a person who has permission to dwell in someone's home. Board and meals are provided in exchange for a rental fee. The landlord or owner gives the boarder permission to stay in the home. The landlord has all authority over the house and can enter any part of the boarder's dwelling without permission or notice. A boarder is not a tenant because they do not have exclusive possession of the residence. Exclusive possession is the right to exclude anyone, including the landlord or owner from the home or room being boarded.

Living Condition Rights

  • It is important to know certain agreements or arrangements can be made between the boarder and landlord. These agreements and arrangements can change by agreement of the landlord and boarder. The following rights outlined are based on government regulations.
    The boarder has the right to have a clean living environment and have household items in standard working conditions upon moving into the place of dwelling and while staying there. The rooms, common areas, furniture, facilities and appliances should all be livable and in working order.

Right to Privacy

  • Boarders have the right to privacy. This does not mean that the landlord or owner cannot access the room the boarder occupies. It simply means that the boarder should have a level of privacy while using the room and other places in the house. The boarder also has a right to a quiet living arrangement without being interrupted by the landlord or owner.


  • The boarder has the right to have access to their room, bathrooms and toilets. A boarder cannot be locked out of these facilities if dwelling in someone else's home. A boarder has access to common areas, such as the living areas or recreation areas in the home. Boarders also have access to the kitchen. The laundry area is also available to the boarder if the home contains such a facility.

Secured Belongings

  • A boarder should have a secure place to keep belongings. A boarder should also be able to secure their room of dwelling as well. It is also the right of the boarder to know and follow the house rules that are put before them.


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