Guest, Boarding, Rooming House or Hostel

A boarding house, rooming house, guest house, hostel or the like generally require a Building Permit.  This includes converting any existing dwelling or other building to a boarding house/guest house/hostel or the like and a new building.

The reason for this is that there are specific fire protection, smoke, fire alarm systems, access, disability, structural loadings, health and amenity issues required to be assessed under the Building Code of Australia.

The Occupancy Permit also forms part of the contract on permission, maintenance of Fire Safety Services (Essential Safety Measures) balconies and other safety measures that link to the insurance coverage requirements and reducing your liability from any occupant injury or more serious matter.

Upon obtaining a Building Permit, you will be required to complete all works and obtain an Occupancy Permit prior to occupying and using the building.

Annual Registration is required from Council’s Environmental Health Service for a Rooming House that occupies four or more people as regulated under the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations and Act of Victoria.

Important Note:  Definitions of a Boarding/Rooming House is different under the Building Code of Australia to that of the Health and Wellbeing Act that may still require a Building Permit. 

A Planning Permit may also be required depending on the number of rooms (generally more than 10), size of the building and any other Overlays or restrictions on the specific property required by  the Planning Scheme. 

Rooms that are self contained will also require a Planning Permit regardless of room numbers.

It is strongly encouraged to engage a suitably qualified draftsperson/architect and/or Planning Consultant to advise you further on requirements.

Also contact the Council’s Environmental Health Service and Planning Services for further clarification, phone 1300 322 322.