Rooming house regulations

In Darebin the registration and monitoring of prescribed accommodation businesses is in accordance with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

All Rooming House or Shared Accommodation operators are required to meet State and Council requirements that apply to Rooming Houses and Shared Accommodation, please ensure you are aware of your obligations. Darebin’s Planning, Building and Health Unit are all responsible for overseeing different areas of legislation. We have provided a summary of these requirements in the following document - Shared Accommodation Premises.

If you own a building that has one or more rooms available to rent, and four or more people in total living in the property this may be a considered a Rooming House.
Alternatively, if you own a property that is used as a holiday camp, hostel, hotel and/or motel, residential accommodation and/or student accommodation, this could be considered a Prescribed accommodation premises if there are six or more people are living in the property.

State requirements, including licensing, set up requirements, public register and minimum standards in a rooming house are available on the Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) website.

To begin the application process, please contact the Business Team via email

The business team will discuss with you, your individual needs and provide support with your application.

Please read the information below before submitting an application. If you proceed with the works and commence operating without the required permits, you will be required to stop operating and/or construction of the Rooming House until you have the necessary permits.

Planning Requirements

You will be required to get a planning permit if:

  • Any of the conditions opposite the ‘rooming house’ use in the tables of uses in the zone or schedule to the zone has not been met,
  • The total floor area of all buildings on the land, measured from the outside of external walls or the centre of party walls, exceeds 300 square metres, excluding outbuildings,
  • More than 12 persons are accommodated,
  • More than 9 bedrooms are provided.

Prior to purchasing the property, check VicPlan for information on zoning and any overlays that may affect the property. It is also advised that you read through Clause 52.23 of the Darebin Planning Scheme.

If a Planning Permit is needed, it is recommended that you engage a professional such as an architect, draftsperson or planning consultant familiar with the Planning Permit Process and Planning Permit application documentation.

If you have more questions about the Planning Permit process or Overlays, contact Statutory Planning on 8470 8850 or via email

Building Requirements

Under the Building Code of Australia (BCA), a Rooming House must be classified as a Class 1b building and requires a Building Permit and the owner must ensure essential safety measures are maintained. Please see the Rooming House Requirements for more information regarding the Building Regulations for a Rooming House.

If a Building permit is needed it is advised you contact a consultant and/or building surveyor familiar with this sort of application. For more information on the Building Permit process contact the Building Department on 8470 8899 or via email

Before applying for a Building Permit, contact the Statutory Planning Department (see information above) to confirm whether a planning permit is required.

Health Requirements

Rooming Houses operators are required to register with Councils Health Protection Unit under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. This registration must be renewed at the end of every calendar year. Council Health Officers will inspect the premises to ensure that appropriate standards are maintained.

Before operating a rooming house, you are required to submit an Application for Plans Approval to Council’s Health Protection Unit. As part of the application you will need to provide a copy of endorsed floor plans that:

  • include details of the proposed use of each room including bedroom measurements, the locations of toilets, hand wash basins and bath/shower, laundry and number of people to be accommodated in each room,
  • include all outbuildings that will be available for rent.
  • include all shared areas.

When building works are complete and Occupancy permits have been issued, a Health Officer will complete the final inspection. If the building/site is compliant, you will be provide you with an Application for Public Health and Wellbeing Act Registration Form.

As part of your application to Register your premises, you will be required to confirm that you have the following:

  • A current Planning Permit or documentation stating Planning Permit is not required,
  • A current Occupancy Permit from a Private Building Surveyor confirming the building meets all relevant requirements,
  • Completed Application Form

You will be provided with an invoice when the Health team receive the completed application form. Once payment (or proof of Payment) is received, your certificate will be sent via email.

For more information regarding the application process or questions about operating a Rooming House contact the Health Protection Unit on 8470 8658 or via email

Additional Requirements
You will need to meet all Consumer Affair Victoria (CAV) requirements including obtaining a Rooming House Operators Licence and maintain the house and safety standards. You can do this by either contacting Consumer Affair Victoria (CAV) direct on 1300 55 81 81 or online at the Consumer Affair Victoria website.

If you are a tenant that has general residential concerns please visit Consumer Affairs for information on how to lodge a complaint.

Concerns about Rooming Houses
If you suspect a property is being operated as an unregistered rooming house please contact our Customer Service Team and Council will coordinate an investigation.