One of Victoria's largest rooming house operators has been convicted and ordered to pay an $80,000 fine, plus costs of more than $16,000, after it was found guilty of 126 charges for failing to comply with requirements under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
Consumer Affairs Victoria took action against SLM Housing Pty Ltd (SLM) (ACN: 155 513 992) in the Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court for offences primarily relating to rooming houses that failed to comply with minimum standards in residents' rooms, common areas and facilities. SLM also failed to display signs advising residents of their rights.
The offences took place in 25 rooming houses operated by SLM in:
- Glenroy (five properties)
- St Albans (three properties)
- Jacana, Preston, Reservoir, Thomastown, Epping, and Albion (two properties each), and
- Westmeadows, Coolaroo, Pascoe Vale, Maribyrnong and Braybrook (one property each).
Breaches of minimum standards included issues with:
- evacuation plans not being prominently displayed and/or not complying with Australian standards
- window coverings not being provided or not giving sufficient privacy
- not enough lighting to provide visibility for safe access or use of areas
- cupboards in kitchens not lockable when cupboards were not provided in a resident's private room
- cook top and/or oven not in good working order
- a room not having enough electrical outlets.