On 23rd October, the Boarding Houses Bill 2012 was passed. This legislation provides protection to some very vulnerable members of our society.
As of January 1st 2013, all general boarding houses with 5 or more residents, which are categorised as Tier 1, must register with the Department of Fair Trading. Within 12 months, they will be inspected by local Councils, which will be responsible for monitoring fire safety, structural integrity, maintenance and cleanliness. Residents will have written occupancy agreements and both they and owners will have access to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.
Tier 2 are assisted boarding houses for people who require assistance with daily living and personal care. They will be the responsibility of the Department Ageing, Disability and Home Care. Before this section of the new legislation comes into effect, new standards will be developed, put out for public consultation and then inserted into the legislation.
This is a huge step towards looking after those who are unable to protect themselves. We will continue to advocate for these members of our community and ensure their voices are heard.