Some rooming house residents have an agreement that says they can have a room to themselves. This is called an exclusive occupancy right.
If a rooming house operator wants a resident with an exclusive occupancy right to share their room with other people, the operator must ask for their consent.
The resident doesn’t have to agree. If they don’t agree, they cannot be asked to leave.
To ask for consent, the rooming house operator must give the resident a Notice to rooming house resident - consent to increase in room capacity (Word, 425KB).
Among other things, this form:
- asks whether the resident agrees to the change
- offers the resident a lower rent, starting from the date of the change
- tells the resident that the rooming house operator has the right to choose the other residents of the room, meaning the resident can’t choose who they share with.
If you’re a resident who has been asked to sign this form, make sure the reduction in rent is worth it. If you think the rent is still too high, you can ask Consumer Affairs Victoria to do a rent assessment. Find out more about Challenging a rent increase.
Residents have three days to change their mind after signing the form. If they have not agreed after 14 days, the notice expires.
The rooming house operator can’t change the arrangements until every resident who is affected has given consent.
If residents agree to share their room, this can happen seven days after the last affected resident agrees to the change. The rent must be lowered from the same day the number of people in the room increases.
The rooming house operator must also ask for residents’ consent if the operator wants to increase the number of people in a shared room from what is stated on the rooming house residency agreement.
Delivering a notice
The notice must be delivered by:
- electronic communication (such as email), if the resident has given consent to receive notices and other documents this way
- hand (giving the notice personally to the resident).
- If posting, allow for mail delivery times, which depend on:
- your delivery method
- where you’re mailing your notice from.
If you are posting the notice, allow enough time for mail to be delivered. Visit Australia Post to calculate delivery times. If you think you might need proof that you have sent the notice you can use registered post.
When the number of people cannot be increased
The number of people sharing a room cannot be changed if:
- the consent to increase in room capacity form is not valid. For example, it hasn't been filled out properly
- not all residents in the room have agreed to the change
- the increased number of people sharing the room is against the law because it would be overcrowded, as described by the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009.
Forms you might need
To ask for a resident’s consent to share a room, use this form:
Sections of the Act
If you want to know what the law says about increasing the number of people sharing a room in a rooming house, see the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and read these sections:
- Section 94B – Consent required for increase in room capacity
- Section 94C – Notice of increase in room capacity
- Section 94D – Consent of resident to increased room capacity.