What Is A Rooming House ?


A Room In A Rooming House

A Rooming house is essentially a co-living building.

A rooming house is a building where one or more rooms are available to rent, and four or more people in total can occupy those rooms.

It's where people can live together under one roof and rent a private room from a landlord, as their main place of residence, and share common facilities.

There are regulations that govern the setup and cohabitation of people who live under these conditions.

There are 4 Frameworks that create a structure whereby rooming houses operate.

Planning Scheme:

Planning schemes are the overall governing regulation for the control of land and people. Under the Planning schemes, there are criteria for consideration that determine whether there is permission given/needed for a property to be able to be set up as a rooming house... depending on certain guidelines within the planning provisions.

Under the planning provisions in Victoria, These are the 4 Main guidelines that would affect most people looking to want to set up a rooming house.

 Vic planning scheme provision: 

  1. The rooming house exemption.   52.23 Rooming house exemption. 
  2. Rooming house parking controls.  52.06-5 Parking Requirements.
  3. Rooming house grouping definition.  73.04-1 Accommodation Grouping.
  4. The definition of how measurements are defined.  73.01 General Measurements. (Gross Floor Area)

What these provisions mean is that in victoria if your property fits within the provisions stated in 52.23 then you are exempt from requiring a planning permit for setting up your rooming house and you get massive concession in converting a property you own or a property you build.

National Construction Code (NCC):

The NCC is a building and construction framework that governs how buildings are constructed. Including the health and safety of the people habiting the buildings. This is important in rooming houses as this defines the construct of the definition and construct of a property based on the guidelines.

Under the National construction code in Victoria, the building code is enforced by the VBA, Victoria Building Authority.

There are the 2 Main guidelines that would affect most people looking to want to set up a rooming house.

The National Construction Code

  1. Rooming house classification. NCC Volume 2. A6.1 (2) Class 1b buildings 
  2. Rooming house fire safety. NCC Volume 2 Part 3.7.5 Fire safety & emergency lighting
  3. Operation of a Latch. (Door locks). NCC Volume 1. D2.21  Operation of a latch (door locks) 
  4. Disability Access Requirements. NCC Volume 1. D3.1 General Disability Requirements
  5. Disability Parking Requirements. NCC Volume 1. D3.5 Accessible Carparking

These important codes have significant importance to the setup of a rooming house as they intrinsically affect the cost of setup. For every rooming house, you need to install the above components for its to be deemed to be habitable as a rooming house and get registered with the local council.

What Is A Rooming House Resident Living In A Rooming House?

A rooming house resident is a person who rents a room in a rooming house as their only or main residence. A resident does not need to have a tenancy agreement to live in a rooming house.

The Minister for Housing can also declare a property as a rooming house.

Also, in most rooming houses:

  • residents share bathrooms, kitchens, laundries, and other common areas
  • the owner and their family do not generally live on the premises, and
  • separate rental agreements may exist for different residents.

A rooming house resident can have:

  • an ‘exclusive room right’, where they occupy the room alone or with people they choose to share it with
  • a ‘shared room right’, where the rooming house owner can choose the other occupants of the room.

Residential Tenancies Act


This is the governing rules by which you maintain and manage a rooming house and the rules by which a rooming house resident must abide.

Setting Up a Rooming House.

Let's Face it Rooming houses Are Highly Cashflow Positive... And great asset to have and hold. More and more real estate investors are turning to this type of investment strategy for the purpose of cashflow.

The government has been pushing for more of this to be set up so long as it's done safely and the rules are being followed.

The BIG elephant in the room is that it can very complicated and expensive if you don't know what you are doing.

We know and understand the complexities as we have helped create over 100 rooming houses in Victoria alone.

Over the years we have learned about all the shortcuts to help investors set up their properties in the fastest and most affordable way.

Don't delay if you want an experienced team on your side to help you with your rooming house needs then book a time with us today.

Super fast and affordable help