Having a written agreement can help prevent disputes which may occur in share accommodation. An agreement eliminates misunderstandings caused by terms not being discussed or that maybe forgotten over time.
There is no increased legal flexibility by not signing an agreement because residential property law cannot be opted out of and covers oral agreements as well so its in your best interest to read and understand the agreement.
For the laws on residential tenancies to apply to your agreement, the tenant must be paying rent in return for the right to use the premises. If the premises is provided for free, then the laws on residential tenancies will not apply.
Important things to remember in share accommodation tenancy agreements?
If the tenant is renting a room or a bed in a share house, it is very important that the agreement detail which parts of the premises the tenant has exclusive possession of, and which parts the tenant has shared use of.
A common situation is for the tenant to have exclusive possession of their own bedroom and shared use of kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities. By describing in the agreement which parts of the property the tenant does and does not have exclusive possession over, the rights and obligations of all parties are guaranteed.