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Apartment unit identified as Rooming house by council?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by aan, 1st Jul, 2015.

  1. aan

    aan New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    we have an 3 bedroom unit apartment 100m2 size in melbourne CBD, it is on single tenancy lease. And up till now the tenant has been great with the rental, always pay on time and condition of the unit itself it still good..

    But it seems he has been subletting our unit apartment to others, without our knowledge. We have no problem with this as long he taking care our apartment and been paying the rent on time.

    But its seems like the owner corporation does not liking this, and want the tenant out no matter what.

    We even received a letter from the public wellbeing department regarding this. The content of the letter is like this

    " As a result of complaint regarding overcrowding at the mention apartment I visited the property in company with the building manager. At the time of the inspection are 5 people were being accomodated in 3 bedrooms with access to bathroom and kitchen/living room/facilities. Based on the number of person being accmodated the premises constitute a rooming house under the public health wellbeing act 2008.

    The public health and wellbeing regulations 2009 define several classes of accmodation as being prescribed accomodation for the purposes of section 3 of the Act, this includes:

    (b) "rooming house" means a building in which there is one or more rooms available for the 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;

    the option available to you in the present circumstances are:

    a. Immediately reduce the number of person staying the apartment to 3 or
    b. Make application to Council to register the apartment as Rooming house.

    If the tenants are currently on a Single residential tenancy lease please forward a copy to me at your earliest convenience."


    We confuse about the following:

    1. So for 3 bedroom apartment 100m2, is it true you can't have more than 4 people living on that unit? I thought it is reasonable to have 6 people living on that size apartment with having 2 person per bedroom? Can they really forcing you deciding for you how many person can live in your unit?

    2. So having 5 people in 3 bedroom unit 100m2 is considering overcrowding?

    3. We have no problem with the tenant, but it seems the owner corporation doesnt like he's subletting our unit, should we really kick out the tenant because of that? We are just afraid to being sued back by the tenant to VCAT about this if we kick him out without any proper excuse. And he is being great with the rental payment, so we prefer to keep him if we can.

    4. Have anyone across this problem having an investment property in melbourne cbd before?

    5. We already even send an email to the owner corporation if the tenant really posed any danger or disturbance to the neighbours please let us know so we can send the breach notice to them. But up till now there has not been any complaint from them regarding the tenant other then saying your tenant is subletting your unit. Is that illegal anyway, allowing your tenant to sublet your unit?

    Any advice and help will be much appreciated. =) because our Property Manager doesn't want get to do anything about this. And we need to solve it ourself with the council and the owner corporation.

    Seems like having property manager is only good for collecting money and repairs but not for other problem... so dissapointing....

    Thank you
     
  2. DaveM

    DaveM Adelaide Buyers Agent & KFC Strategist Business Member

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    Unless you approved sublettng to 4 other people, tell them to get rid of them.

    And get a new PM. Lil Skater from here is a good melbourne PM.
     
  3. Pistonbroke

    Pistonbroke Well-Known Member

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    How many people do you have on the lease?
     
  4. aan

    aan New Member

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    the tenant lease is on 1 name, he said previously he have family living with him. We dont have problem with the tenant with sub letting cause he's been paying the rent on time and taking care of the unit apartment.

    Is there such a rule now that tell you how many people living in a apartment unit? I would though having 6 people in 3 bedroom apartment is reasonable?

    I dont see whats the problem with sub letting as long we as an owner being paid the rent on time and our unit is in good condition and no changes has been made inside the apartment unit.

    Does Lil skater manage melbourne CBD apartment?

    Maybe its time to change PM as well, the current PM said they are the biggest Property Management company in the CBD.... =(
     
  5. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    I don't see the problem - you show them the one tenancy agreement and that might be the end of it?
     
  6. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    By what measure? They have the biggest offices? The most staff? The most properties under management? The most individual owners? Turnover? Commission basis? How is that measured? An absolutely useless measure

    I know the guy who has the biggest fencing company in Sydney - his factory sits on 10 acres, whereas his competitor sits on 5 acres. By turnover or number of staff, the results are different.
     
  7. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    I think you are in trouble, and that the authorities can and do regulate what is permissible inside your property. The relevant definition for "rooming house" is under reg 4 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009.

    The overarching legislation is the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2009, and it places the onus for compliance on the proprietor. s 67 is the relevant section. This suggests to me that you can't avoid your obligations under the Act by claiming that it's a sub-let.

    The issue is that authorities consider these things in terms of "households". If you had a family of six staying in your 3 BR apartment, it'd be OK. Six individual strangers, however, they're not OK with; that's contributing to a style of living that authorities are seeking to discourage, or at least heavily regulate, to prevent undesirable living conditions. If your tenant has six individual tenants, that's exactly what they're trying to prevent, and I'm not sure how you'd argue that you're not covered by these laws.
     
  8. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    In WA the important fact is that the number of people are related or unrelated for example we can have 5 related people in a 3 bedroom place but not 5 unrelated people.

    If he is having family stay then that would not be an issue in WA.

    I would talk to your tenant and ask if he is subletting and keep it under 4 people max if they are not family.

    Also be aware that some landlord insurance policies do not like subletting
     
    Perp likes this.
  9. aan

    aan New Member

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    thanks for all the advice, we are just going to do that then. If the council have this rooming problem, they should go after the tenant not us i guess since we only have single tenancy lease.
     
  10. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    The legislation specifically makes the "proprietor" liable for compliance. But good luck with telling them to go after the tenant. :)
     
  11. aan

    aan New Member

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    So are you saying the owner the one is wrong at this point? so we should have just kick out the tenant without any proper evidence? how come the owner being accountable for the action of the tenant??

    Seems like the law only protect tenant and others but dont protect the landlord?
    if we kick the tenant without any proper evidence the tenant can sue us back through vcat because residential act.... so what would you do if you were in this situation perp?
     
  12. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    The legislation makes the owner responsible; right/wrong, fair/unfair aren't really the point.

    You don't need to kick out the tenant, you just issue them with a breach notice requiring them to reduce the number of sub-tenants to comply with legislation.

    You do have proper evidence; the relevant authorities have collected it for you. Their letters are the basis for your breach notice.

    The tenant has no recourse via VCAT when their actions are putting you in violation of legislation.
     
  13. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Over 4 unrelated parties is generally considered to fall into rooming house territory.

    You can have more than 2 people per room, but there's a certain size the room must be - plus a whole lot of other things.

    In other words, it's very possible what you've received is true. Your options are -

    Move the tenant along
    Give the tenant a chance to remove at least one person
    Go through the process to register it as a rooming house - unlikely that's going to happen and you'd probably still need to kick one out. Plus to be honest, if your tenant is subletting by each room, they're probably getting more rent from the others there than you're charging them in total so there's no advantage for you.