• Tristan Angelini

What you need to know about community living


You have probably encountered the words community living and “rooming houses” on this blog before. In fact, we mention it here a lot because our business is all about safe and affordable accommodation. However, we are not here to give you an unrealistic view of what rooming houses are. People must know what to expect and what makes them different.


For those who are not that familiar with what rooming houses are, here are some things you should know.


What is a rooming house?

It is simply shared accommodation within a residential property. To other countries, it’s more commonly known as boarding houses. The closest thing rooming houses are we can think of is Airbnb, except, it’s much more affordable to many and have a different set of rules.

Rooming houses also have a landlord and they are called proprietors, while the tenants are normally called residents. Now, because like I said it is shared accommodation, the facilities are shared as well and this means even the utility bills are paid not just one person but shared by all tenants. Rooming houses also have extra services like laundry and cooked meals but it depends on the proprietor.


How many tenants can a rooming house accommodate?

In Australia, the most common number of people that are allowed to be accommodated in a room should not be fewer than three people. These shared rooms need to comply with the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 where rules and regulations must be observed at all times.


So, what about house rules?

There’s going to be house rules whether you like it or not. House rules are important 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 common 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 are the fees a tenant should anticipate upon renting a room in a rooming house?

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


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


What if the proprietor decides to sell the property?

While Xotel is a premium provider of rooming houses for homeless Australians or those who need a place to stay for a short period of time, some properties are inevitably used for community living temporarily only to be sold later. If this happens, the proprietor has a responsibility to inform the tenant about it. According to law, the proprietor should advise the tenants within 14 days signing with a sales agent that the property is going to 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.

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Melbourne 3004

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