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Accommodation businesses

Knox City Council makes sure that there are standards for owners or operators of boarding houses or shared accommodation.

These standards apply to places that house four or more people.

Register with Council

If you are opening, buying or selling an accommodation business you need to register with Council.

Rooming or boarding houses

A boarding house is a building in which:

  • one or more rooms is available for rent. Rent can be financial or can be paid off through things like labour
  • four or more people can occupy those rooms.

Residents of a boarding house have exclusive possession of their room with shared access to communal facilities.

This includes rooms such as:

  • kitchens
  • bathrooms
  • laundries
  • living areas.

For a list of registered rooming houses, see the Consumer Affairs Rooming House Register.

Owners or operators must:

  • be registered with Council
  • provide a good standard of health for all residents.

Standards for boarding house operators

As the owner or operator you need to comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009. This describes the standard of health and living conditions you should provide for your residents.

Examples of these standards includes:

  • no overcrowding
  • a minimum room size of 7.5m2
  • that all rooms and facilities are kept clean and in good working order
  • an adequate hot and cold water supply and a drinking water supply that is of drinking water quality
  • an adequate sewerage system which is kept in good working order
  • adequate rubbish collection containers that are cleaned and collected regularly
  • at least one toilet, one bath or shower and one wash basin for every ten people living there.

Rooming House Operators Licence Scheme

Rooming or boarding house operators must have a licence to legally operate their business. This does not include registered housing associations or housing providers under the Housing Act 1983.

You must still register your premises with Council if you have a rooming house operators’ licence.

Find out more about Rooming House Operators Licence Scheme

Shared accommodation

Shared accommodation has a different leasing arrangement to a boarding or rooming house. Residents of shared accommodation have exclusive possession of the rented premises.

Other accommodation types

Other accommodation facilities that need to register with Council include a:

  • hotel or motel
  • hostel
  • student dormitory
  • holiday camp
  • caravan park.

More information

Consumer Affairs provide more information about being a resident or operator of accommodation premises.

Need help?

Email health.services@knox.vic.gov.au and we will get back to you.

Or call our Health Services unit on 9298 8000.

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