The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act) lists the rights and responsibilities of people living in, and operating, rooming accommodation such as boarding houses, hostels, and off-campus student accommodation.
These rights and responsibilities say what residents and providers/agents must do as a part of their Rooming accommodation agreement (Form R18).
- use their room and common areas as their main place to live
- not use their room or common areas for an illegal purposenot interfere with the peace, comfort or privacy of another resident. Residents must also make sure their guests do not disturb other residents
- pay rent on time
- not keep an animal on premises without permission
- not intentionally or recklessly damage or destroy any part of the rental premises on purpose. Residents must also make sure their guests do not cause damage
- maintain their room so that it is not a health or fire hazard
- obtain permission from the provider before adding any fixtures, like picture hooks or air conditioning units.
- make sure residents have quiet enjoyment of their room and common areas
- not interfere with the peace, comfort or privacy of residents using their room or common areas
- take reasonable steps to ensure residents always have access to their rooms, bathroom and toilet facilities
- take care to ensure residents have reasonable access to common areas
- take reasonable steps to ensure the residents’ rooms and their personal property in the rooms, are secure
- maintain the residents’ rooms and common areas so that they are fit to live in
- take reasonable steps to ensure the residents’ rooms, common areas, supplied furniture and equipment are kept in good working order and, if agreed, kept clean
- ensure they or their representative is reasonably available so residents can contact them about accommodation issues
- give the resident a key for each lock needed to gain access to their room
- ensure the premises complies with minimum housing standards when the resident moves in and throughout the rooming accommodation agreement.
Residents can expect
- to use and enjoy their room and common areas without being disturbed by other people
- to use and enjoy their room and common areas without the provider/agent disturbing them without good reason
- to have access to toilet and bathroom facilities at all times
- to use common areas at reasonable times
- to have a room that is reasonably secure
- to have rooms and common areas that are fit to live in
- to have rooms, common areas and furniture and equipment kept in good and safe repair, and kept clean depending on the agreement that is in place
- to have times available when they can contact the provider/agent or a representative about accommodation issues
- for the premises to comply with minimum housing standards when the resident moves in and throughout the rooming accommodation agreement.
Providers/agents can expect
- that residents will not use their rooms or common areas for any illegal activity
- that residents and their guests will not disturb other residents’ use and enjoyment of their room and common areas.
If someone's rights are breached
Clear communication is vital between residents and providers/agents. Being clear about expectations and communicating in a timely and collaborative way when circumstances change, or concerns are raised, gives everyone a chance to resolve any issues directly.
If a resident or a provider/agent breaches a term of an agreement, there are processes which must be followed. For example, the other person may issue a Notice to remedy breach – Rooming accommodation (Form R11). The notice informs the other person there is a problem or dispute and asks for the situation to be fixed within a specific timeframe.
If the issue is not fixed, the person who issued the breach notice may apply for RTA dispute resolution or issue the other person with a Notice to leave – Rooming accommodation (Form R12) or a Notice of intention to leave – Rooming accommodation (Form R13).
For more information read the RTA's:
You can also contact the Residential Tenancies Authority on 1300 366 311.
Accessing RTA forms
The RTA’s forms can be obtained electronically or in person by contacting us.
Other languages: You can access a free interpreter service by calling the RTA on 1300 366 311 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm).