1. Rooming houses guide
Either before or on the day a resident moves in, a rooming house operator must give them a copy of the Rooming houses residents guide.
2. Operator’s contact details
Either before or on the day a resident moves in, a rooming house operator must provide contact details.
These include the operator’s full name, address and an emergency telephone number.
If the operator employs an agent, then residents must be given the agent’s full name and address.
An operator must also let residents know of any changes to their contact details within seven days.
3. Written statement of rights and duties
Either before or on the day a resident agrees to move in, a rooming house operator must give the resident a one-page written statement of their rights and duties.
You can download the Rights and duties of a rooming house resident statement here.
They must also display this in each resident’s room.
There are penalties for not complying with these requirements.
4. House rules
Either before or on the day a resident agrees to move in, a rooming house operator must give the resident a copy of the house rules, which describe the rules the residents must follow. The house rules usually include things such as:
- respecting other residents right to peace and quiet
- not damaging any property or acting violently
- keeping rooms clean
- not using rooms for illegal purposes.
The house rules must be prominently displayed in each resident’s room.
If an operator wants to make changes to the house rules, they must notify the resident in writing at least seven days before the changes come into effect.
If a resident believes any of the house rules are unreasonable, they may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to hear the matter.
5. Notice to proposed rooming house resident
A Notice to proposed rooming house resident explains to a resident if they have an exclusive right to their room, or if they may be sharing it with others.
If the room is shared, the notice must say how many residents may be in the room, and that the rooming house operator will choose the other residents.
For more information, see:
6. A notice outlining the costs of any extra services the operator provides
This may include things such as room cleaning, linen or meals. If a resident uses these extra services, the operator must provide them with an itemised account detailing their use.
7. A copy of the condition report
A condition report is a record of a property’s condition when a resident moves into a rooming house. It notes whether anything is dirty, damaged or not working. It should include fittings and fixtures, as well as the property, room or caravan itself, and both the inside and outside of the property.
The rooming house operator is responsible for preparing the condition report. They must sign it and give 2 copies to the resident (or 1 copy if sending electronically) before they move in.
Condition reports can be important evidence if there’s a dispute about bond claims, or who should pay for cleaning or fixing damage.
The resident should check the report and if anything is not right they can change it.
They should then send one signed copy back to the rooming house operator, and keep one copy for themselves. They must return it within 5 business days of moving into the property, and if sending it by post, allow enough time for delivery.
It’s a good idea for both the resident and the rooming house operator to take photos of the property at the start of the rental agreement, particularly of any damage. Photos should be dated, labelled and attached to the condition report, in hard copy or electronically.
Operators must use a ‘prescribed form’ for preparing a condition report. A prescribed form is defined by Victorian rental law. We recommend using our official Condition report form.