We work with Consumer Affairs Victoria to regulate and improve conditions in Victoria's private rooming house market.
Residents of a rooming or boarding house have an individual agreement with their rooming house owner/manager. They only have exclusive possession to their room with a right to shared access to communal facilities such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and living areas.
Rooming houses must be registered with the local council.
Public register of rooming houses
Consumer Affairs Victoria has established a public register of rooming houses. This allows the public to check if a rooming house is registered with the local council.
For more information, see Consumer Affairs Victoria public register.
Looking for accommodation
If you are looking for accommodation, contact your nearest homelessness entry point for assistance by calling 1800 825 955, or see the list of homelessness entry points across Victoria on our Housing website.
To apply for public housing, see Applying for housing on our Housing website.
Improving private rooming houses
Rooming House regulations have been made that include a suite of 11 standards for rooming houses, which focus on improving privacy, safety and amenities for rooming house residents. The standards are enforced by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV).
For more information, see the Standards in rooming house and rental accommodation.
Here are some further rooming house reforms.
Accommodation Options for Families program
We implemented the Accommodation Options for Families Program (AOF) to reduce the number of families accommodated in unregistered rooming house accommodation. It also assists families to secure longer term support and more appropriate housing options (including public housing, social housing and private rental accommodation).
- Access to short term (6 weeks) and medium term (6 months) tenancies in private rental accommodation
- The provision of case management support
- The provision of additional private rental brokerage to support families to secure longer term housing options.
If you are aware of a family living in an unregistered rooming house you should contact one of the Accommodation Options for Families providers for more information.
We implemented a protocol designed to improve collaboration between homelessness assistance services and local government authorities. This is so they can work together when responding to the needs of vulnerable rooming house residents affected by closures.
The protocol focuses on ensuring residents are appropriately supported to relocate to alternative affordable and safe housing. It also minimises the potential adverse impacts on their lives.
For more information, see Related resources.
Note: The Private Rooming House Closure Protocol is available in hard copy. To obtain a copy, please send an email to Paula Robinson.