Definition of a residential service

A residential service provides accommodation for 4 or more people who live in 1 or more rooms and individually pay rent. Typically, each resident has the right to occupy 1 or more rooms but not the whole premises. Residents in a residential service share facilities such as a bathroom or kitchen. Some services also provide residents with food or a personal care service as part of their accommodation agreement.

Another form of residential service is known as aged rental accommodation. This provides accommodation to a person who rents a self-contained unit and who receives food or personal care service from (or on behalf of) the service provider.

Accommodation services that are exempt from being residential services

Some accommodation services are not considered to be residential services. These include:

  • accommodation specifically for tourists or travellers such as backpackers, motels, and bed and breakfasts
  • student accommodation
  • retirement villages registered under the Retirement Villages Act 1999
  • accommodation for employees in connection with their work, or contractors in connection with their service contracts
  • services regulated under other legislation, including
  • services that have funding agreements with a government agency, including those
    • under funding or in premises owned by Aboriginal Hostels Limited
    • conducted by the Department of Housing and Public Works, which is funded under the Housing Act 2003
    • conducted by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and the Department of Housing and Public Works, which are funded under the Housing Act 2003 or the Disability Services Act 2006.

Register of Residential Services

Under the requirements of the Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002, you must keep a public register of residential services. The public register has the registration and accreditation details of your residential service. Details of residential services that are no longer registered are also listed on the public register.

The regulation of residential services is important to both operators and residents. More information about how regulation helps the industry can be found on the Department of Housing and Public Works website.

If you need more information on residential services, you can:

You can find information about rooming accommodation agreements at the Residential Tenancies Authority, which can also be reached on 1300 366 311.