Rooming house regulations

On 11 December 2008, new regulations were introduced to cover rooming houses of 4 or more people.

Changes to the Health Prescribed Accommodation Regulations 2001

The Health Prescribed Accommodation (HPA) Regulations definition of a rooming house has been changed to align with the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA) definition of 4 or more people.

With this change there is now consistency in the definitions between the 2 pieces of legislation. The change also provides a range of additional protections to residents of rooming houses with 4 and 5 residents, including requirements about:

  • The number of people that can be accommodated in 1 room
  • Room size
  • Maintenance
  • Cleanliness
  • Supply and quality of drinking water
  • Discharge of sewage and waster water
  • Refuse
  • Ratio of toilet and shower facilities.

Impact of changes

In aligning the definition, the changes also establish rooming houses as a specific, separate class of accommodation under the HPA Regulations, using the same definition as the RTA. This enables improved data collection and reporting on the number of rooming houses to enhance service planning, inspections and compliance activities.

The changes increase the number of rooming houses that need to comply with the HPA Regulations.