A resident must give the rooming house operator at least two days’ notice if they want to leave the rooming house. If they have a fixed-term rooming house agreement, the resident must give the operator 14 days’ notice. However, if the rooming house is damaged or destroyed so that it is unsafe to live in for any reason, the resident may give notice and leave immediately.
Residents can tell the operator in person that they are leaving but, if the operator asks, they must give written notice.
A rooming house is a building where four or more people can live in rented rooms, some of which might be shared, and access communal facilities. Each resident has an individual rental agreement. It is different to a sharehouse, where everyone signs the same agreement to rent the whole property.
On this page:
Giving written notice
Although it is not compulsory, we recommend using our Notice to operator of rooming house (Word, 737KB).
The written notice of intention to vacate must:
- be signed by the resident or their representative
- allow the correct amount of time to give the notice (see notice periods below)
- give the date the resident intends leave.
If a resident gives notice but does not move out, the operator can apply to VCAT to order the resident to move out.
Delivering a notice of intention to vacate
The notice to vacate must be delivered by:
- electronic communication (such as email)
- hand (giving the notice personally to the rooming house operator).
If posting, allow for mail delivery times, which depend on:
- your delivery method
- where you’re mailing your notice from.
It is important to allow enough time for mail to be delivered if you are posting the notice. The Australia Post website can help calculate delivery times. If you think you might need proof that you’ve sent the notice you can use registered post.
If the resident does not give notice
If the resident does not give notice or wants to end an arrangement earlier than the required notice, they will have to pay the rent until the relevant notice period expires or a new resident moves in (whichever is earlier). The relevant notice period will be 2 days for residents without a fixed-term rooming house agreement, and 14 days for residents with a fixed-term rooming house agreement.
In cases of severe hardship, VCAT may end a fixed-term tenancy early.
Resident experiencing family violence
People experiencing family violence who need to change their agreement (lease) so that they or their children can be safe can apply to VCAT.
They can ask VCAT for an order so that the rooming house operator:
- gives them a new rooming house agreement
- lets them leave before the agreement ends without having to pay fees.
Read more about changing or ending a rooming house agreement because of family violence.
Ending a residential rental agreement
Previously, people living in rooming houses could have a residential rental agreement. If this is the case, the resident must give the operator notice according to the periods required for a residential rental agreement. Get more information about renters giving notice of intention to vacate. If they don’t give notice, they may be breaking a rental agreement (lease).
Final meter readings
If the room had separate meters for utilities like water or electricity, the resident should let the utility providers know in advance when they will be moving out. Otherwise, they may be charged for services in the next billing period.
There are different timeframes for giving a rooming house operator a notice of intention to vacate depending on the reason and the type of agreement.
Reason for leaving a rooming house
Minimum notice required
The room or rooming house becomes unfit for human habitation or is destroyed to such an extent that it is unsafe.
If you otherwise want to move out of the room.
| If the resident wants to move out of the room and has a fixed-term rooming house agreement.
| 14 days
Forms you might need
To give a rooming house operator written notice, use this form:
Sections of the Act
If you want to know what the law says about giving notice of intention to vacate in a rooming house, you can read these sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997:
- Sections 142W, 142X, 142Y and 142Z – Notice or abandonment by resident.