Rooming Houses in Port Phillip

The City of Port Phillip supports rooming houses through strategies such as:

  • encouraging the retention of existing private rooming houses
  • encouraging the provision of new, registered private rooming houses
  • facilitating and supporting new community-managed self-contained community housing that houses similar persons to those who live in rooming houses
  • responding to any sales or closures of rooming houses to assist people to find alternative accommodation.

To apply for rooming house accommodation, please visit Housing Victoria.

Housing First

Address: Level 3, 492 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9534 5837

St Kilda Community Housing

Address: 102 St Kilda Road, St Kilda
Phone: 03 9534 1809

Southport Community Housing Group

Address: 259 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne
Phone: 03 9696 1128


Address: Level 1, 210 Kingsway, South Melbourne
Phone: 03 8341 8700

Community Housing

Address: 9 Prospect Street, Box Hill
Phone: 03 9856 0050

What is a Rooming House

Rooming houses, sometimes referred to also as boarding houses, generally provide housing for single people, particularly receiving low income or facing other disadvantages may find it difficult to access other private rental housing or who prefer to live in a rooming house environment for social contact.

Many of the private rooming houses in Port Phillip have been changing their focus, similar to other shared accommodation provision across Victoria, and have instead been increasingly accommodating international students and workers.

Rooming house accommodation traditionally involves residents renting bedrooms, rather than self-contained flats or units, and the use of shared common facilities such as bathrooms, lounges, kitchens, dining areas and laundries. Increasingly rooming houses include partially or fully self-contained bed-sitters or studio units, including some who may offer one-bedroom units.

Rooming houses can be either privately owned and managed or publicly owned community housing managed by a Registered Housing Association or Housing Provider.

While both can target low-income tenants, private rooming houses tend to be run on a for-profit basis as a business, often with on-site managers and have a mix of short-term tenancies, including people coming off the street and sometimes some backpackers, and long-term tenancies. Their rents are usually based on market rates.

Community-based (public) rooming houses operate on a not-for-profit basis, generally focus on longer-term housing, are more careful with tenant selection, and do not use on-site managers.

Who regulates rooming houses

All rooming houses catering for four or more people must be formally registered under the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

More information can be found at prescribed accommodation or contact Council's Health Services Unit on 03 9209 6292.

To check if a rooming house is registered, visit Consumer Victoria.

Tenants and Landlords have rights and responsibilities that are set out within State Residential Tenancies legislative requirements.

There are further requirements for operators and owners of rooming houses within the rooming house operators licensing scheme, established under the Rooming House Operators Act 2016.

The Business Licensing Authority (BLA) within the Department of Justice and Community Safety is responsible for granting licences to applicants who are 'fit and proper persons'.

Find out more in the Rooming House Operators guidelines.

More information

For more information or to ask a question, please contact us.

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