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A bedroom within a boarding house (also referred to as a rooming or lodging house) that is not self-contained, and usually shares a common kitchen and/or bathroom. Boarding house bedrooms are usually accessed via a common entrance such as a foyer or hallway.


Guide for use:

Section 5A of the Social Security Act 1991 states that:

5A(5A) A person's accommodation is exempt accommodation (i.e. they are eligible for Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) at the full single rate) if it is in premises that are, in the Secretary's opinion, a boarding house, guest house, hostel, private hotel, rooming house, lodging house or similar premises.

5A(5B) In forming an opinion about a person's accommodation for the purpose of subsection (5A), the Secretary is to have regard to the characteristics of the accommodation including, in particular, whether or not the following are
characteristics of the accommodation:

(a) the premises are known as a boarding house, guest house, hostel, hotel, private hotel, rooming house, lodging house or similar premises;

(b) a manager or administrator (other than a real estate agent) is retained to manage the premises or administer the accommodation on a daily or other frequent regular basis;

(c) staff are retained by the proprietor or manager of the premises to work in the premises on a daily or other frequent regular basis;

(d) the residents lack control over the day-to-day management of the premises;

(e) there are house rules, imposed by the proprietor or manager, that result in residents having rights that are more limited than those normally enjoyed by a lessee of private residential accommodation (for example, rules limiting the
hours of residents' access to their accommodation or limiting residents' access to cooking facilities in the premises);

(f) the person does not have obligations to pay for his or her costs of gas, water or electricity separately from the cost of the accommodation;

(g) the accommodation is not private residential accommodation, having regard to:

  • the number and nature of bedrooms in the premises; or
  • the number of people who are not related to one another living at the premises; or
  • the number and nature of bathrooms in the premises;

(h) the person's accommodation has not been offered to the person on a leasehold basis;

(i) there is no requirement that the person pay a bond as security for either the payment of rent or the cost of any damage caused by the person, or for both;

(j) the person's accommodation is available on a daily or other short-term basis.

5A(5C) Each of the characteristics set out in subsection 5(B) points towards the accommodation in question being exempt accommodation (i.e. the person is eligible for CRA at the full single rate).

The identification of individual boarding house bedrooms or units from boarding house buildings is important in calculating the operational costs for this type of dwelling.


CSHA Community housing data collection manual 2001-02


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