Important legislation and useful links


Consumer Affairs Victoria launches Rooming House Family Violence campaign

a resident is affected by family violence, the rooming house operator has obligations and rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

Consumer Affairs Victoria has produced a fact sheet which has information for rooming house operators who have residents experiencing family violence. It covers:

  • family violence safety notices and intervention orders
  • maintaining residents’ privacy
  • making changes to a rooming house
  • goods left behind

Access the fact sheet here


Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) being reviewed.

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) has been undertaking a comprehensive review of the Residential Tenancies Act (1997) for the last 2 years. The amendments will come into force by 30 June 2020.

Victoria’s Legislative Council passed an Amendment Bill to the RTA last October which has 139 amendments to the 1997 RTA Act. 26 of the amendments to the RTA are unique to rooming houses and a further 42 general amendments also may apply to rooming house operators.

RAAV has been meeting regularly with CAV during the review advocating its concerns about some of the amendments especially the abolishment of operators being able to use long agreements under part 2 of the RTA. The change will allow residents to vacate from the rooming house giving 14 days notice to the operator if a second long term lease is in place instead of at the end of the lease period.

An amendment which will be withdrawn is the 120 day notice issued to residents to vacate which operators may be used in exceptional circumstances.

Some penalties for breaches of the Act by operators have been increased significantly.

RAAV has made a number of submissions to CAV on these proposed amendments and has participated in a number of workshops involving stakeholders. RAAV will be participating in further discussions to comment on regulations which are being developed by CAV.

RAAV will be conducting information sessions and workshops which will commence at RAAV’s Annual General Meeting on 26 October and in April to June next year.

The reforms to the RTA may be viewed by accessing CAV’s website. There is a link on CAV’s website Fairer Safer Housing page on the Engage Victoria website – Fairer Safer Housing. Operators are encouraged to read this to start preparing for the implementation of the amendments.



Rooming House Operators Act 2016

A new rooming house operators licensing scheme, established under the Rooming House Operators Act 2016, came into effect on 26 April 2017. All existing rooming house operators (except those that are registered housing associations or housing providers) must apply for a license by 24 August 2017 in order to continue to legally operate their rooming house(s).

A summary of information from the Consumer Affairs Victoria's website is available from the following link. Key Information on the new licensing scheme are available in the Rooming House Operators section on CAVs' website.

Information is available on CAV's website in English, Arabic, Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese.

Your legal obligations in running a rooming house

RAAV has produced a new brochure which summarises the legal obligations of a rooming house operator. The brochure, "Running a better rooming house: Your legal obligations" will assist operators to manage their rooming house more effectively.

The contents include information about:

  • The rooming house operators licensing scheme,
  • who are residents, tenants and operators,
  • minimum standards in rooming houses,
  • keeping records, rights and duties of residents,
  • charging a bond and a condition report,
  • rent considerations,
  • repairs and maintenance,
  • house rules,
  • other important information.

Print copies of the legal obligations brochure are available by contacting RAAV. Translations of the brochure are also available from the link in Simple Chinese, Vietnamese and Arabic languages.

You can download copies in English and the six languages by using these links:


RAAV recommends that the brochure should be read in conjunction with the third edition of "Running a better rooming house: A best practice handbook" which is available in hard copy or by using this link.


Legislation for Minimum Standards for Rooming Houses

In order to determine that you are operating a legal rooming house, you need to make sure that you are complying with 4 main areas. The minimum standards for rooming houses in Victoria are governed by the following legislation:

The minimum standards for rooming houses in Victoria are governed by the following legislation:

  • Residential Tenancies Act 1997
  • Residential Tenancies and other Consumer Acts Amendment Bill 2012
  • Building Regulations 2006
  • Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009.

An outline of the legislative requirements placed on rooming house operations is contained in Consumer Affairs Victoria's new 'Rooming houses: a guide for residents and operators'.

This publication contains:

  • Rooming house basics
  • Minimum standards in rooming houses
  • When a resident moves in
  • During a resident's stay
  • When a resident is leaving
  • After a resident has left
  • Solving disputes
  • Closing down a rooming house
  • Useful contacts
  • Checklist for residents
  • Check list for operators
  • Possible land tax exemptions
  • Building safety standards
  • Fire safety
  • Signs and lighting
  • Health and hygiene standards
  • Conditions in the rooming house
  • Keeping a register
  • Advertising the rooming house
  • Inspections

New Minimum Rooming House Standards

New minimum rooming house standards were introduced in 2013 and these are summarised in the attached brochure. The new standards focus on increased safety issues and address wellbeing requirements for rooming houses.

Click here to view....

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