NSW Government legislation the Boarding Houses Act 2012 states that owners of a premises being used as a boarding house are required to register their premises on the NSW Fair Trading register within 28 days where a proprietor takes over an existing, or begins operating a new, registrable boarding house.
Upon a premises being registered, Council is be required to:
- Conduct an initial inspection within 12 months of registration, at re-registration (unless inspected within the previous 12 months) or on a change of proprietor
- Check for compliance with planning, building and fire safety requirements, and shared accommodation standards under the Environmental Protection Act 1979, Local Government Act 1993, Public Health Act 1991, and all associated regulations.
The Botany Bay City Council conducts annual inspections of all registered Boarding Houses to determine in the interest of the health and safety of all tenants and to ensure that:
- appropriate levels of cleanliness and hygiene are maintained,
- the premise is being maintained to an appropriate standard, and
- the premise is being managed correctly such that it is not causing any issues to neighbouring properties.
The Council also undertakes inspections to ensure the fire safety of registered boarding houses. Each year the owner of the boarding house must provide the Council with a statement certifying that all fire-safety measures work properly. Council will also inspect to ensure that all fire safety measures are in place. If measures are not adequate, the Botany Bay City Council can issue fire safety orders to building owners directing them to undertake improvements.
Every Boarding house should have:
- Fire safety plans that explain how to escape the building in case of fire.
- Fire safety measures such as smoke alarms, evacuation lighting, fire extinguishers and fire blankets.
- Fire safety management that involves the owner, operator and occupants following simple steps to reduce the likelihood of a fire breaking out.
- A fire safety statement.