Rooming House Information

Here you will find information specifically for Rooming House Operators.

This includes infomation about:

How to register a Rooming House
Utilities, Internet & Furnishings
House Rules

Rights and Responsibilities

How to register a Rooming House

A Rooming House is a property where one or more rooms are available for rent to 4 or more people. Each tenant pays individual rent for their room, has their own lease agreement and shares communal facilities with other tenants.

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act (PHW 2009) requires Rooming House Operators to register their property with Council before it can be occupied. Unregistered Rooming Houses are illegal, and notification of any in operation are reported to Council.

To register your Rooming House you must:

The four Councils that most properties near a Deakin campus fall within are listed below.
Whitehorse City Council
City of Monash
City of Greater Geelong
Warrnambool City Council

Once you have completed the registration process, your property will appear on the Public Register of Rooming Houses and you will be able to advertise it on the Deakin Houseme site. Rooming House registration is required and enforced by Council, not the University. If you have any further questions about becoming registered, please contact your nearest Council.

Utilities, Internet and Furnishings

The Residential Tenancy Act states that you can only charge individual tenants separately for utilities such as electricity, gas and water if the facilities are separately metered. In most cases, a Rooming House will have one meter for water gas and electricity, rather than a meter per room. This means the Rooming House Operators responsible for paying for these utilities, and should factor this into weekly rent rates.

Internet does not have to be included in the weekly rent rate, however most student will choose a property that does have internet included as it is easier for them to budget for.

Particular furnishings must be supplied in a Rooming House’s communal areas and these are outlined in the Consumer Affairs Victoria minimum standards in rooming houses.

There is not requirement to furnish the individual rooming in a property, however as most students move quite a distance to attend university, they will look for properties that are furnished so they don’t have to source these items themselves. Common room furnishings include a bed, desk and chair and build-in or free standing robe.

House Rules

Some Rooming House Operators choose to have a set of house rules, which established the rules all occupants must follow. There is no legal obligation to have house rules, however having them gives occupants and operators clear guidance on how the rooming house operates, and can be use in VCAT hearings in necessary.

The house rules should be accepted by the occupant and Rooming House Operator prior to moving into the property. They should also be displayed in the property for all occupants to refer back to.

House Rules usually include a summary of occupants legal rights and duties

  • Rent payment e.g. the regularity and method (not amount this is outline in the lease)
  • Room inspections e.g. how often and when will notice be given, make sure you are within your rights according to Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • Property damage
  • Fire safety, e.g. you must leave if an alarm sounds
  • Items that are not permitted for safety reasons, e.g. double adaptors, extension cords, hotplates, particular types of heaters, candles
  • Health and wellbeing issues, e.g. abusive language, bullying, anti-social behaviour, alcohol, smoking, illegal drugs and illegal activities
  • Noise, e.g. no playing music at a high volume or shouting loudly after 10 pm
  • Respect for other residents’ privacy
  • Use and cleanliness of shared facilities, e.g. bathroom, kitchen, appliances and utensils
  • Keeping running costs down, e.g. turning off lights and taps
  • Rubbish disposal
  • Internet usage policy and charges
  • Pets
  • Guests and visiting times
  • Contact details for emergencies.

Changes to the house rules must be in writing and occupants must be given seven days’ notice before they begin.

The Registered Accommodation Association of Victoria (RAAV) have useful online resources to help with setting up a Rooming House.

We also suggest you download the RAAV's 'Running a better rooming house: A best practice handbook for operators'.

Rights and Responsibilities

Rooming house accommodation is covered by the Residential Tenancy Act. This means you have legal requirements as an Operator. Find out about your rights and responsibilities as a Rooming House Operator online at Consumer Affairs Victoria.