All registrable general and assisted boarding houses in NSW are required to register with Fair Trading. For a definition of a registrable boarding houses go to the What is a registrable boarding house? section on the Boarding house page on Fair Trading's website.
To register, boarding houses must complete the Boarding house registration form (PDF size: 105kb) and forward it to the address on the form along with the $100 registration fee.
If you are registering by mail, your options for paying the fee are cheque (personal, business or bank cheque) or money order (available from post offices).
The details on the form will be recorded on the Boarding house register. Only the following information is publicly available:
An occupancy agreement is a contract between you and the boarding house resident that outlines the terms and conditions of the occupancy.
The Boarding Houses Act requires you to enter into a written occupancy agreement with each resident. If you do not have a written agreement, the Occupancy Principles still apply and can be enforced by the resident in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
A Standard occupancy agreement (PDF size: 510kb) has been developed for boarding house proprietors and residents. Use of this agreement is not mandatory, which means you can develop your own agreement instead. From 1 October 2013, the Occupancy Principles automatically became part of all occupancy agreements in registrable boarding houses, whether the principles are written in the agreement or not. An occupancy agreement cannot be inconsistent with the Occupancy Principles.
If there is a dispute with a resident about the Occupancy Principles, which you cannot resolve, you can make an application to the NCAT for a resolution.
The occupancy principles are a set of basic rights and responsibilities for residents of boarding houses as stated in the Boarding Houses Act 2012. These are listed below.
Before residents move in, they have a right to:
While a resident is living in the boarding house, they have:
When a resident moves out they have a right to:
Local councils are required to inspect registered boarding houses within 12 months of the date of registration. The only exception is cases where the boarding house was inspected in the 12 months prior to registration.
The inspection determines whether the boarding house complies with the relevant provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Act 1979 with respect to:
Councils are permitted to charge a fee for the inspection.
The Local Government Directory provides contact details for all councils in NSW. It is available from the Division of Local Government website.
If you provide residential accommodation to a person who you reasonably believe to be a child aged under 16 years living away from home without parental permission, you must immediately inform Community Services. Call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 to make a report. For more information, go to the Department of Family and Community Services website.
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