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Rental accommodation (dwelling, unit or backpacker/hostel)

It is a requirement of the City of Gold Coast to monitor the standard of operations in all accommodation premises to ensure the health and safety of its occupants. The City determines the standard of operation by regulating specific accommodation types.

Applying for a new hostel accommodation licence

Select from the drop-down headings below for more information.

Is a licence required?

A licence is required for all types of accommodation facilities provided for payment, including:

  • motels and hotels
  • flats, group and strata title units
  • boarding houses, hostels and dwelling houses.

A licence is not required for the following types of accommodation:

  • immediate family members paying for board with a family home
  • at premises where professional health, welfare care, or education is provided, or where community organisations provide sports training or recreation facilities, for example:
    • hospitals, nursing homes, convalescent homes
    • retirement homes
    • institutions providing treatment for people with disabilities
    • secondary boarding schools
    • universities
    • surf clubs
    • scouting venues.
  • caravans, cabins or mobile homes located in City-approved caravan or mobile home parks and camping grounds
  • employer-provided.

How to apply

Before submitting your application, you should ensure the site has the appropriate development approval to prevent your application being delayed. Depending on the type, size and intended use of any permanent buildings and structures, building approval and certification from a building certifier may be required.

Once the above has been obtained, complete and submit a hostel accommodation licence application form.

The following documentation must be submitted with an application for a hostel accommodation licence:

  • Certificate of currency for Broadform Public Liability Insurance to the value of at least AUD10 million
  • Certificate of compliance issued by Queensland Fire & Rescue Service
  • Electrical safety certificate of compliance
  • Certificate of classification of building
  • a site plan, detailing access to and egress from the accommodation, proposed use of each room, location and type of all rooms, sanitary facilities, laundry facilities and shared facilities.

To avoid delays in your application, please ensure any supporting information is submitted with the completed application form.

No fees are required for this application.

Find a link to the hostel accommodation licence application form below.

Taking over existing rental accommodation

Select from the drop-down headings below for more information.

Researching the business

Prior to taking over an existing business you may wish to apply for a Health licence search to confirm there is a current approval and to ensure the existing owner is complying with licence conditions.

If you intend to make alterations to the site, you may need further development and/or building approval. You may apply for a full planning and development certificate (fees apply). We will contact you if additional information is required to process your application.

Find a link to the hostel accommodation licence application and Search Request forms below.

Making alterations to business or licence details

For minor changes to your licence, such as change of contact details please complete a hostel accommodation licence amendment application form.

For more complex changes, such as operational amendments, additional information will need to be submitted with a completed hostel accommodation licence amendment application form.

Find a link to the hostel accommodation licence amendment application form below.

Is a licence required?

A licence is required for all types of accommodation facilities provided for payment, including:

  • motels and hotels
  • flats, group and strata title units
  • boarding houses, hostels and dwelling houses.

A licence is not required for the following types of accommodation:

  • immediate family members paying for board with a family home
  • at premises where professional health, welfare care, or education is provided, or where community organisations provide sports training or recreation facilities, for example:
    • hospitals, nursing homes, convalescent homes
    • retirement homes
    • institutions providing treatment for people with disabilities
    • secondary boarding schools
    • universities
    • surf clubs
    • scouting venues.
  • caravans, cabins or mobile homes located in City-approved caravan or mobile home parks and camping grounds
  • employer-provided.

Information for existing businesses

Select from the drop-down headings below for more information.

Amendments to a hostel accommodation licence

For minor changes to your licence, such as change of contact details please complete a hostel accommodation licence amendment application form.

For more complex changes, such as operational amendments, additional information will need to be submitted with a completed hostel accommodation licence amendment application form.

Find a link to the hostel accommodation licence amendment application form below.

Licence renewal

Hostel accommodation licences are renewed annually and are valid until 31 August each year.

  • If there are no change of details to your existing licence, visit our Payments page to find out how to renew your licence online, by phone or by post.
  • If details on your existing licence require amendment, contact us on 07 5667 5987 or visit a customer service centre.

Lost or damaged licence – how to request a request a replacement

Find a link to the Hostel accommodation licence - replacement approval documentation application form below.

Fees apply for the above request and are detailed on the application form. Payment can be made by:

  • cash, cheque or credit card at any of our customer service centres
  • cheques or money orders made payable to City of Gold Coast can be mailed, along with the completed application form, to City of Gold Coast, PO Box 5042 GCMC QLD 9729.

How to comply

It is the responsibility of you and your staff to ensure compliance with all requirements of the relevant legislation, which includes:

  • Local Law No. 16.6 (Licensing) 2008
  • Subordinate Local Law No. 16.1 (Rental accommodation) 2008

The City monitors the standard of operations in the above rental accommodation through a routine inspection program, the frequency of which is determined by the type of premises being operated and its level of compliance.

The City’s LG Toolbox website has some useful information on how to prevent, report and/or eradicate bed bugs and mould.

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