Understanding Community Living and Rooming Houses

Posted by Hillbrook Projects on 27 July 2022

Most people would associate "community living" with a small community or a group of strangers coming together to start a new life somewhere. But it's more than just that. Nowadays, it's become more complex and harder for people to find a stable shelter due to affordability issues, while for others, the lack of opportunities for them to land a job. Because of this, several kinds of accommodation were started to help those who need it the most – one of the examples is rooming houses.

People have such an unrealistic view of what rooming houses are, but it’s important to know what to expect and what makes them different.

Here are some things you should know for those who are not that familiar with what rooming houses are.

What is a rooming house?

A rooming house is a shared accommodation within a residential property. In some other countries, it’s more commonly known as boarding houses. The closest thing to rooming houses is Airbnb, except it's much more affordable to many and has a different set of rules.

Rooming houses also have a landlord, called proprietors, while the tenants are commonly called residents. Now, because it is technically shared accommodation, the facilities are also shared by everyone in the house - even the utility bills are paid not just by one person but shared by all tenants. Rooming houses also have extra services like laundry and cooked meals, depending on the proprietor.

How many tenants can a rooming house accommodate?
In Australia, the most common number of people allowed to be accommodated in a room should not be fewer than three people. These shared rooms must comply with the Residential Tenancies Act 1995, where rules and regulations must be observed at all times.

So, what about house rules?

There are going to be house rules whether you like it or not. House rules are necessary because they keep everything in place. Rooming houses need to have a set of rules that tenants should be able to obey. For this reason, the proprietor should also observe the following:

•Give a copy of the house rules to the tenants or display it where it is visible to everyone
•Make sure to include rules when using standard rooms and facilities as well as smoking areas, noise, and parking areas, if there are any.
•Always make it a point that the rules are reasonable for all tenants.

What fees should a tenant anticipate upon renting a room in a rooming house?

Some of the possible fees are the following: electricity, water supply, gas, telephone, internet, laundry, and meals.

The amount varies, but these are the fees that are typically charged to a tenant.

What if the proprietor decides to sell the property?

Some properties are inevitably used for community living temporarily, only to be sold later. If this happens, the proprietor is responsible for informing the tenant about it. According to law, the proprietor should advise the tenants within 14 days of signing with a sales agent that the property will be sold. This should give the tenants enough time to find a new place and prepare for their next course of action.

Before renting a room in a rooming house, it is a must to do your own research. Try to know everything about the property, the location, the rules, etc. This is something you need to do to ensure safety.

Recent Posts