Accommodation businesses


If you operate a prescribed accommodation business, you must be registered with Council and comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008

Prescribed accommodation business includes:

  • hotels and motels
  • hostels
  • student dormitories
  • holiday camps
  • rooming houses
  • residential accommodation
  • labour hire accommodation

Did you know?

It is an offence to operate an accommodation business without a current Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 Certificate of Registration. The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and Regulations aim to protect public health by preventing or containing outbreaks of infectious diseases. They also encourage business proprietors to provide and maintain environments free from infectious diseases.

Rooming houses

A rooming house is a building, usually a house in a residential area, where one or more rooms is available for rent and where the number of people occupying the property is four or more. Residents will have exclusive possession of their own room and the right to share common areas like kitchens, bathrooms and lounge rooms with other residents.

In our area, it is most often seasonal workers from overseas and from Australia who live in this type of accommodation, due to their short-term needs and the affordability of rooming houses.

Requirements for registration

Rooming houses must meet a range of Health, Building and Planning rules. Some examples are below but you should download the full requirements and contact Council to discuss your individual property and these regulations.

Rooming house operators must be licensed with Consumer Affairs Victoria.

For example, rooming houses MUST:

  • Be registered with Council’s Public Health Services Department.
  • Provide a clean-living environment, including adequate ventilation, continuous and adequate hot and cold water supply, clean drinking water, regular rubbish collection, adequate sewerage and water discharge, and vermin-proof bins that are emptied regularly.
  • Provide at least one toilet, one bath/shower and one wash basin for every 10 people
  • Comply with regulated room sizes, based on number of occupants and length of stay
  • Comply will Local Laws around use of caravans in residential areas
  • Have appropriate Building Permits
  • Have the regulated number of stand-alone, hard-wired smoke alarms, and other fire safety measures

For a more detailed rooming house regulations please download Regulating Rooming Houses(PDF, 316KB) .

To avoid costly mistakes, let out team help you navigate what other permits you may need to get your business up and running. Visit our starting, expanding or buying a business page and fill in our concierge questionnaire.


Council officers will initially work with owners/proprietors to achieve compliance. However, where necessary, might need to use a number of enforcement options. This includes issuing of orders/notices to upgrade safety measures of the building, prohibit occupation and remedy and breaches of standards under the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations, the Planning Scheme and the Building Act 1993. Council may also serve an infringement notice for offences, including operating an unregistered business.

Registering your business

Are you starting a new business or changing an existing business?

To avoid costly mistakes, allow our expert team to guide you through the necessary permits for launching your business successfully.

Explore our dedicated page for starting, expanding, or buying a business and complete our concierge questionnaire. Our team will promptly assist you, walking you through the essential processes and permits vital for kickstarting your new venture.

Under the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, all prescribed premises must be registered with their relevant Council in order to operate.

Exemptions from registering

You do not require registration if your business operates any of the following:

  • A house under the exclusive occupation of the occupier
  • A self-contained flat under the exclusive occupation of the occupier
  • Public hospitals, nursing homes or health services establishments (registered)
  • Retirement villages
  • Premises in which, other than the family of the proprietor, not more than five persons are accommodated and which is not a rooming house
  • Temporary crisis accommodation

For caravan parks please visit Caravan parks  

Register a new accommodation business

When you are ready, complete your registration.

Register a new accommodation business

Buying and transferring an existing accommodation business

If you are purchasing an accommodation business that has an existing business registration, an application must be made to Council to transfer the registration to the new owner of the business.

Transfer an accommodation business

Renewing your accommodation business registration

Operators of prescribed accommodation businesses must renew their business registration each year. 

You will receive a letter with clear instructions on how to renew your registration.


Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, our Environmental Health Officers can inspect any business that is involved with providing health and wellbeing services.

We may conduct inspections without giving prior notice, at any time during business trading hours. Our inspections focus on a wide range of issues including:

  • cleanliness of accommodation facilities and common areas
  • compliance with regulations including over crowding and maintenance
  • record keeping


If you want to make a complaint about an accommodation business in our municipality, please let us know

Report an issue