The rooming house operator must avoid disturbing your peace and quiet and must respect your privacy.
However, it is legal for them to come into your room in certain circumstances.
They can come into your room without notice for these reasons:
- You, and any other residents in the room, agree
- There is an emergency, and they need to save someone’s life or valuable property
- They need to provide a service you have paid for, such as deliver clean sheets, but they can only come in during the hours set out in the house rules
They need to give you 24 hours’ written notice before coming into your room for any of the following reasons:
- You are moving out and they want to show the room to a new resident
- The property is being sold or used as a security for a loan and they want to show your room to a buyer or lender
- They need to carry out their legal duties, such as doing repairs
- They have reasonable grounds to believe you are not following your legal duties: for example, they believe you have damaged your room
They need to give you 48 hours’ written notice before coming into your room if:
- They want to do a routine inspection and have not done one in the last 4 weeks
The written notice cannot just be pinned to your door or slipped under it.
It can only be given to you in one of 3 ways:
- In person
- By post – including extra time for delivery
- Electronically, such as by email or text – but only if you have agreed to receive notices this way
Entering your room
The rooming house operator can only enter your room between 8am and 6pm, and not on public holidays.
Any entry to your room must be done in a reasonable way. The operator must only be in your room for the time needed to achieve their purpose for coming in.
If the rooming house operator or their agent acts improperly or damages any of your property during their entry, you may be able to apply to VCAT for compensation.
Unless the rooming house operator follows the correct procedures, it is an offence for them to enter your room without a reasonable excuse.
You can report offences to Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81.
You can also apply to VCAT for a restraining order stopping or restricting them from coming into your room. For more information see our Applying to VCAT page.
You can also give the operator a ‘notice of breach of duty’ telling them to fix the problem and to not breach your rights to privacy and ‘quiet enjoyment’ (peace and quiet) again. It you want compensation you can claim for that too. For more information see our page Duties and breaches (rooming houses).