Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Boarding house reform

Boarding Houses Act 2012

The Boarding Houses Bill 2012 was passed by the NSW Parliament in October 2012. The Act and the Second Reading Speech are available on the NSW Parliament website.

The Boarding Houses Act 2012 provides a legislative framework for the regulation of boarding houses in NSW. The Act divides registrable boarding houses into two categories:

  1. "general boarding houses" - boarding houses accommodating 5 or more people for fee or reward;
  2. "assisted boarding houses" - boarding houses accommodating two or more "persons with additional needs", which means people who need daily, ongoing care and support services as a result of their being aged, mental illness or other disability.

The Act provides for:

  • Mandatory registration of all "registrable boarding houses" on the Boarding Houses Register administered by NSW Fair Trading - to access the Register please go to the NSW Fair Trading website;
  • The application of shared accommodation standards under the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 to general boarding houses;
  • Initial compliance investigations of registered boarding houses by local councils;
  • The introduction of occupancy rights for all residents of registrable boarding houses; and
  • An enhanced scheme for the authorisation and operation of "assisted boarding houses” which will be administered by Ageing, Disability and Home Care.

The provisions of the Act relating to the Register of Boarding Houses commenced on 1 January 2013.

The remaining parts of the Act commenced on 1 July 2013.

For further information about the Act please go to the NSW Fair Trading website.

Boarding Houses Regulation 2013

The Boarding Houses Regulation 2013 commenced on 1 July 2013. The Regulation provides standards for Assisted Boarding Houses and also sets out some additional requirements for the Boarding Houses Register and for the authorisation, conditions and operations of Assisted Boarding Houses. The Regulation is available on the NSW Legislation website (PDF).

Consultation on the Draft Boarding Houses Regulation 2013

In March 2013 Ageing, Disability and Home Care, Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) released the draft Boarding Houses Regulation 2013 for public consultation. 

A Regulatory Impact Statement was also prepared, looking at the costs and benefits of the draft Regulation compared to other possible regulatory options.

An Easy Read Regulatory Impact Statement was also prepared, which used images and simple English to explain the Regulatory Impact Statement.

Independent consultants were engaged to conduct consultations with over 90 residents of Assisted Boarding Houses using the Easy Read Regulatory Impact Statement and other Easy Read materials. An executive summary of the report on the resident consultations is also available:

FACS also invited interested individuals and organisations to make written submissions about the draft Regulation and the Regulatory Impact Statement, with the closing date for written comments and submissions of Monday 15 April 2013.

People who made submissions were advised that their submissions would be made publicly available unless they requested confidentiality.

Thirty-three submissions were received. Of these, two were verbal, one was confidential, and parts of two other submissions were confidential. All public submissions are provided below.

A report on the responses to the draft Regulation and the Regulatory Impact Statement, including recommendations for changes to the Regulation, was prepared by ADHC. The report is available here:

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