Factsheet 27: Boarding Houses Act
This factsheet explains the rights of residents of registrable boarding houses under the Boarding Houses Act 2012.
This factsheet briefly explains the 12 occupancy principles that cover all residents of registrable boarding houses in NSW.
The Act applies to certain types of boarding premises. The premises may be a house or flat, or a complex of premises. If the premises is covered by the Act, the premises are known as a ‘registrable boarding house’.
The Act applies to boarding houses whether or not they are registered, what matters is whether they should be registered. There are two types of registrable boarding house: ‘general boarding houses’, and ‘assisted boarding houses’.
The Act provides for occupancy agreements between boarding house proprietors and residents, and gives the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal power to deal with some disputes. See Factsheet 11: NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for more information on attending the Tribunal.
A boarding house proprietor is the person or company who runs the boarding house. A proprietor may own the building, but they do not have to- it is possible for a tenant of the owner to be the proprietor. A proprietor may also employ a manager to take care of daily business for them.
The Act also requires registrable boarding houses to be inspected by the local council. Assisted boarding houses are subject to further regulation by NSW Ageing, Disability and Home Care.
General boarding houses are boarding premises that:
Almost all registrable boarding houses are general boarding houses.
Assisted boarding houses (previously known as licensed boarding houses, or licensed residential centres) provide accommodation and other services to people with disability who need a high level of care.
Contact People With Disability Australia on 02 9370 3100 if you are a person with a disability looking for advice or advocacy in an assisted boarding house.
Residents of boarding houses may have either a rental agreement or an occupancy agreement under the Boarding Houses Act.
An occupancy agreement is the agreement between yourself and the proprietor in which you agree on things like what money you will pay, how often and which room of the boarding house you will be in.
If your occupancy agreement is not in writing, it is still enforceable, and needs to comply with the Occupancy Principles.
The Act does not cover:
If you are a boarder or lodger in premises that are not covered by the Act, see Factsheet: 14 Boarders and Lodgers.
The Act provides for occupancy agreements between boarding house proprietors and residents, and gives the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal power to deal with some disputes.
It is a term of your occupancy agreement that your accommodation is provided in compliance with the occupancy principles.
See Warning at the end of this document
You are entitled to:
If the proprietor breaches a term of your occupancy agreement, or breaches an occupancy principle, you can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to resolve the dispute.
The Tribunal can order the proprietor to stop breaching the agreement, to do something to fix a breach, or to pay you compensation for loss caused by that breach.
Your occupancy agreement should set out the amount of notice you are required to give before you end your occupancy agreement and move out.
If it does not, you should give notice equivalent to the period of your occupancy fee (so, for example, if you pay weekly, you would give one week’s notice). In some cases, such as where the proprietor has seriously breached the agreement, you might give less notice.
If the proprietor wants you to leave, and you do not want to, they must give you notice that complies with the Occupancy Principles. If it does not, you are able to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order that they not evict you.
If the notice is valid and you are still at the premises when the notice period ends, you may be evicted by the proprietor. The proprietor does not need to apply to the Tribunal or court to evict you; they can do it themselves and, if you resist, they may use reasonable force to evict you. The proprietor can also ask the police to evict you; if you refuse, you may be guilty of an offence.
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The information in this factsheet:
• is intended as guide to the law and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice
• applies to people who live in, or are affected by, the law as it applies in New South Wales, Australia.
© Tenants' Union of NSW