Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 all prescribed accommodation premises and prescribed health premises must be registered with the relevant Local Government in order to operate. This includes:
Beauty therapy or similar business
Tattooing, ear piercing or any other process involving the penetration of the skin on a living human being.
If you are deciding whether to open a new prescribed accommodation premises or prescribed health premises it is recommended that you contact the Environmental Health Unit to discuss your business proposal. They can assist you with all the relevant paperwork and fees and give you guidance wherever needed.
A Public Health and Wellbeing Construction Guideline has been developed to provide new and existing prescribed premises with a summary of their responsibilities under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. It is also recommended that you familiarise yourself with the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 as it provides additional information related to prescribed accommodation premises including, overcrowding, maintenance and cleanliness as well as prescribed health premises including, condition of registered premises, condition of equipment, hand washing facilities and what information should be collected from clients.
When completing your Application to Register a copy of the premises’ plans should be submitted to the Environmental Health Unit prior to commencement of construction works. An Environmental Health Officer will assess these plans and provide you with advice as to if the proposed plans are consistent with minimum requirements or require amendments within 5-7 working days.
Note: It is an offence to operate one of the above premises without registration and the City of Ballarat will pursue premises operating without registration.
Additional approvals may also be required from other units and organisations therefore contact should be made with them as well when considering opening a new business. Please note this is not an exhaustive list.
Statutory Planning Ph: 5320 5500
Town planning advice including parking and signage.
Building Department Ph: 5320 5500
Local laws Ph: 5320 5500
Permits and advice on Local laws particularly relating to advertising signs on footpaths
Rates Office Ph: 5320 5500
To discuss what rates and charges are likely to apply.
Central Highlands Water Ph: 5320 3100
For advice on water supply and trade waste agreement
Consumer Affairs Ph: 1300 588 181
For information and advice in regards to fair trading, business licensing, registration and conduct for those living in or owning a rental property, caravan park, rooming house or movable dwelling
Once plans have been approved from the Environmental Health Unit and all other organisations, you will need to contact the Environmental Health Unit to organise an initial inspection before you can trade.
After the registration is processed you will be sent a certificate of registration. Registration is required to be renewed every 12 months and expires on the 31st December each year. Random inspections will be carried out by Environmental Health Officers during the year.
Rooming house premises fall under prescribed accommodation in the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009. It is an offence for a proprietor not to register with the local council.
Definition – 'a building in which there is one or more rooms available for occupancy on payment of rent in which the total number of people who may occupy those rooms is not less than 4'
Rooming houses have the following characteristics:
Primarily single room accommodation
Shared facilities (lounge/kitchen/bathrooms)
No formal supports
Rooming houses are distinguished from ‘share houses’ by leasing agreements. Contact Environmental Health for further clarification.
Temporary crisis accommodation is exempt however it must be provided on a not-for-profit basis by an agency which receives homelessness support funding from the Government of Victoria.
Council receives many questions about converting a building into a rooming house. This is not a simple process and can involve multiple services within Council.
Before starting a rooming house you need to meet legal requirements associated with Council’s Planning, Building and Environmental Health units and Consumer Affairs Victoria. Please contact these departments to determine what legal requirements will apply to you.
Consumer Affairs Victoria
Consumer Affairs Victoria is responsible for the assessment of the minimum rooming house regulations under the Residential Tenancies (Rooming House Standards) Regulations 2012. Information about the regulation requirements can be found on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.
Consumer Affairs Victoria may also conduct site assessments of rooming houses throughout the year.
If a resident thinks their rooming house does not meet the minimum residential tenancy standards, they should contact Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Council Units to contact
Statutory Planning – permit, land zones
Building – building class, occupancy permit, building permit
Environmental Health – maintenance of rooms, minimum rooms sizes, toilets/showers
Rooming House Register
From 31 March 2013, there have been changes to the minimum standards for rooming house operators. As well as complying with the standards set out in the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009, rooming house operators must comply with the Residential Tenancies (Rooming House Standards) Regulations 2012. These standards relate to privacy, security, safety and amenity in rooming houses. The minimum standards apply to a rooming house and its rooms, irrespective of whether the resident is on a rooming house agreement or individual tenancy agreement.
The State-wide rooming house register is up and running. It is a requirement under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 for councils to enter information about the rooming houses they register within their municipality. Some of the information, specifically the rooming house address, the owners name(s) of the house, the business owner(s) ABN/ACN and the council in which the rooming house is registered, will be available to the public. Should a rooming house owner wish to have their personal details suppressed from public view on the register, they can apply in writing to the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria – GPO Box 123, Melbourne VIC 3001