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This information is a guide and should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.

Published: May 2023

Rooming houses

A rooming house is a building or apartment with one or more rooms for rent, where at least 4 people can live. Rooming houses are different from other share houses as the rooming house operator decides who lives there and usually has individual agreements with each resident.

Moving in

Rooming houses are legally required to be registered with the local council and meet official minimum standards. Some rooming houses are not registered but must still follow the laws.

Know your rights when moving in – for example, the operator cannot charge more than 14 days’ rent in advance and must not discriminate against you.

For more information on what you should do and what information you should get when you move in, see our page Moving in (rooming houses).

Living in a rooming house

You have legal rights as a resident of a rooming house. For example, the rooming house operator must give you 24-hour access, keep the property in good repair and respect your privacy.

For more information on living in a rooming house, and how to protect your rights, see our page Living in a rooming house.

Shared rooms

Some rooming houses have shared rooms, where you either share with someone you choose, or you share with people the rooming house operator chooses.

When you apply to move into a rooming house, the operator must give you a notice telling you if you will be renting a room for yourself or a shared room.

If you’re in a shared room and they want to add a new person to your room, they must get your permission.

For more information on shared rooms and your rights see our page Sharing rooms (rooming houses).

Duties and breaches

Rooming house operators and residents have duties under the law that must be followed. For example, the operator must carry out repairs when needed.

If you or the rooming house operator do not follow (breach) any duties, the other can give a ‘notice of breach of duty’ telling them to fix the problem, and/or pay compensation.

For more information see our page Duties and breaches (rooming houses).

Moving out

If you want to move out, you need to give the rooming house operator notice of your intention to vacate. If you move out without giving notice, or before the end of your notice period, the rooming house operator might ask you to pay rent to cover the notice period.

Find out more about moving out on our page Moving out (rooming houses).

Notices to vacate and evictions

Sometimes the rooming house operator wants you to move out. If a rooming house operator gives you a notice to vacate because they want to evict you there are legal steps they must follow.

Getting a notice to vacate does not always mean that you must move out.

For more information see our pages Notices to vacate (rooming houses), Evictions (rooming houses) and Moving out (rooming houses).

Useful contacts

Tenants Victoria
Tenancy Assistance and Advocacy Program [TAAP]
Tenancy Plus


View our handy pocket guide on moving in, living in, and moving out of a rooming house.

Tenants Victoria Rooming House Residents Handbook

Related pages

Moving in (rooming houses)
Living in a rooming house
Sharing rooms (rooming houses)
Duties and breaches (rooming houses)
Moving out (rooming houses)
Notices to vacate (rooming houses)
Evictions (rooming houses)

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