Illawarra boarding- house operators are disappointed they had "no input" into the NSW government's industry overhaul.
Ross Plant, who runs a Cringila guesthouse, agreed tougher laws were needed to expose the "600-odd shady backyard operators", but said the 30 registered operators should have been consulted.
Under legislation passed this week, NSW boarding-house residents will have occupancy rights for the first time and facilities will have to be registered.
"It's pretty easy to contact the 30 people on the books to get some feedback; that would have been a good place to start instead of the government flying blindly to make up the rules," Mr Plant said yesterday.
"Now we have a situation where we, the good operators, don't know the detail of the changes and what they will mean for us."
Mr Plant and Port Kembla boarding-house owner Donna Porcella fear the decision to strip them of power to evict tenants without notice is disastrous.
"By taking away immediate eviction, you are taking away the only avenue of keeping house rules of peace and well-being for all our tenants," Mr Plant said when he first heard of the changes.
He is calling on the government to explain in detail his rights under the new laws.
"There is a grey area: we don't know what is reasonable notice.
"From what I understand we can still evict someone who is dangerous, but what is considered dangerous?
"I could have someone causing drama and instability inside my guesthouse, yet to the outside they might not be considered dangerous."
Mrs Porcella said yesterday she would wait for details of the legislation before deciding her future.
She warned in July she would shut down her properties if the government pushed ahead with plans to strip her of her right to evict without notice.
NSW Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance said the Boarding Houses Bill 2012 is a historic reform aimed at protecting the most vulnerable in society.
He said it "upholds the rights of boarding-house residents, whether they are people with disability, people with mental illness, students, or those on low incomes".
The NSW Boarding Houses Register will be in place by January 2013.
Operators will also face increased penalties for non-compliance, and there will be increased powers of entry for officials to do inspections.
"This bill gets the balance right in terms of maintaining the viability of the boarding-house industry, while ensuring safeguards are in place for residents so that people live in clean and well-run accommodation," Mr Constance said.