The growing number of Bed and Breakfast Accommodation and Guest Houses in our Shire is testament to the demand for an alternative holiday experience. The following information regarding prescribed accommodation may assist you when establishing your own Bed and Breakfast or Guesthouse.
If you want to open a prescribed accommodation premises or substantially alter an existing premises, you must obtain approval from Council.
If you are building new premises or wish to register an existing building contact Council to ensure the appropriate requirements are also met.
The information contained within this section should be read in conjunction with the Establishing a Bed and Breakfast Information Factsheet
Prescribed accommodation regulations
Prescribed accommodation premises are covered by the Public Health & Wellbeing Regulations 2019. The objectives of the regulations are:
- To prevent overcrowding in prescribed accommodations
- To ensure a reasonable standard of hygiene, sanitation and safety in prescribed accommodation
- To minimise the risk of airborne and other communicable diseases amongst people living in prescribed accommodation
Accommodation factors connected to ill health include
- Lack of or sharing of amenities linked to gastroenteritis and dysentery especially among young children and the elderly.
- Overcrowding leading to accidents, respiratory illness in young children and the elderly and the transmission of infectious diseases.
- Problems with insulation and ventilation can result in respiratory illness
- Dampness has been linked to respiratory illness, particularly chest infection and asthma in children
- Uncollected waste can lead to the spread of gastrointestinal and parasitic diseases, mainly as a result of the increase of insect and rodent vectors and poor maintenance of sewers and food waste.
Types of Prescribed Accommodation
Within the State of Victoria the following classes of accommodation are prescribed to be subject to Division 1 of Part 5 of the Public Health & Wellbeing Act 2008:
- Residential Accommodation
- Hotels and Motels
- Hostels / Backpackers
- Student Dormitories
- Holiday camps
- Rooming Houses
A Holiday Camp means any house, building or structure, whether temporary or permanent, which is used for accommodation of student groups, youth groups or family groups for holiday or recreational purposes.
A Rooming House means 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 that room or those rooms is not less than 4.
This includes short term Bed and Breakfast premises if five or more persons are accommodated, unless exempt, see below:
- A house or self-contained flat under the exclusive occupation of the occupier
- Premises in which, other than the family of the proprietor, five persons or fewer are accommodated and which is not a rooming house
- Any house, building or structure to which Part 4 (Caravan Parks are separately requested with Council) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 applies
- Any vessel, vehicle, tent or caravan
- Public Hospitals or health services establishments (registered)
- Retirement villages.
- Where a prescribed accommodation premises provides meals for residents, a separate Food Premises registration must be obtained from Council’s Environmental Health Unit.
- Premises not supplying food (eg. Self catering) will have their kitchen facilities assessed in terms of overall structural, cleanliness and food storage suitability.
The Regulations detail the maximum number of persons that can be accommodated based on room size and varies depending on the length of stay (more than or less than 31 days).
Under these regulations:
- Each bedroom must have a minimum floor space of 7.5 square meters;
- One child under three is not counted as a person; and
- 2 children under the age of three are counted as one person.
- The proprietor must maintain all bedrooms, toilets, bathrooms, laundries, kitchens and living areas in the accommodation in good working order;
- In clean, sanitary and hygienic condition; and
- In a good state of repair.
Other aspects of maintenance including that related to exit paths, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and lighting must be managed.
- The proprietor must ensure that all rooms are thoroughly cleaned once vacated and before reuse.
- All bed linen is changed with clean linen at least weekly and after the accommodation is vacated and before it’s reuse by another occupier.
The proprietor must supply an adequate and continuous supply of water to all toilet, bathing, laundry and drinking water facilities.
The proprietor must also supply an adequate and continuous supply of hot water to all bathing, laundry and kitchen facilities.
Water intended for drinking must be fit for human consumption. Private drinking water supplies used for commercial premises need a higher level of management then that required for private dwellings.
If the water supply is roof catchment and tank storage than maintenance procedures will be necessary to ensure compliance with the Australian Drinking Water Standards.
Discharge of sewage and wastewater
Proprietor must ensure that all sewage and waste water is discharged into reticulated sewage system or an approved septic tank system.
Unless the premises is serviced by a reticulated sewage system, the onsite waste water management system will need to be assessed for suitability. This will be determined by its perceived capacity to appropriately test and retain all wastewater on the premises.
Refuse receptacles and refuse disposal
- Proprietor must provide sufficient vermin proof receptacles for the collection and storage of all rubbish and ensure these receptacles are regularly emptied and cleaned
Toilet and Bathing Facilities
- Proprietor must provide at least one toilet, one bath or shower and one hand basin for every 10 persons or fraction of that number of persons occupying the premises.
- All facilities to be maintained in a clean and hygienic condition and in a good state of repair.
Registration of Occupants
The proprietor must keep a register with the following information for a period of at least 12 months:
- Address of persons
- Date of arrival
- Date of departure
Prescribed accommodation registration
Premises Registration is simply a process whereby you submit an application to Council. See the steps below:
1. Application for Premises Registration form and associated payment
Email your completed application with all required attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Floor Plans showing the layout of the premises
These plans must outline the:
- Size of all bedrooms
- Details of sanitary facilities must be supplied in detail including number of showers, toilets and hand basins
3. Indicate the number of persons to be accommodated on the plan
Once plans are assessed, Council will arrange for an inspection of the premises. This can be during construction if applicable.
The areas the Environmental Health officer will look at are listed above in the Section - Prescribed Accommodation Regulations.
When all works have been completed to the satisfaction of Council, a certificate of registration to operate can be issued and forwarded to you.
This will only occur if the requirements of Planning and Building Permits have also been met.
In line with the regulations, the premises will be inspected at least annually.