Rooming house inspections

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Local council inspections

A rooming house will initially be inspected by an authorised officer from the local council.

Other inspections may then take place for health, building safety or other reasons, and may happen randomly or in response to a complaint.

Consumer Affairs Victoria inspections

Our officers may inspect a rooming house to:

  • check that the operator is licensed with the Business Licensing Authority
  • inform operators and residents of their rights and responsibilities
  • ensure that if a resident has paid a bond, it has been lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA)
  • ensure it meets minimum standards.

Department of Health and Human Services inspections

A health inspection by an environmental health officer from the local council or Department of Health and Human Services will look at things such as:

  • the register of residents
  • the number of bathrooms
  • general hygiene
  • room size
  • rubbish collection
  • pest control
  • adequate supply of hot and cold water.

An inspection may result in an operator being given a written order or notice to carry out work.

Building safety inspections

A building inspection may be conducted by:

  • a municipal building surveyor from the local council
  • a private building surveyor appointed by the rooming house operator.

Fire safety inspections

A building fire safety inspection may also be conducted by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade or Country Fire Authority.

The inspector may look for things such as:

  • the general state of repair
  • ventilation
  • fire hazards
  • the prominent display of essential health, building and fire safety measures
  • fire prevention systems, including smoke detectors
  • emergency lighting and exits
  • any other matters that may risk the life, safety or health of anyone using the building.

Keeping records

Operators must keep records of maintenance of essential safety measures and the current essential safety measures report, as these are likely to be requested during an inspection. Operators face penalties if they do not keep adequate records. For more information, view Penalties – rooming house operators.

Notices and orders

A municipal building surveyor or private building surveyor may issue an operator with a building notice or building order if they believe the rooming house does not comply with the Building Regulations and is therefore unsafe.

For information about notices and orders that may be issued by a municipal building surveyor or private building surveyor, operators should contact the building department of their local council.