Short term hostel accommodation (Gold Coast) - Queensland


It is a requirement for City of Gold Coast to monitor the standards of operations in rental accommodation premises such as hostel/backpackers accommodation to ensure the health and safety of its occupants.

A licence is required where the premises is used for the accommodation of one or more households where each resident:

  • has a right to occupy one or more rooms
  • does not have a right to occupy the whole of the premises in which rooms are situated
  • may be provided with separate facilities for private use
  • may share communal facilities or communal space, with one or more of the other residents

The accommodation may include:

  • rooms not in the same building or site
  • provision of a food or other service
  • on-site management or staff and associated accommodation

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.


Licensing does not apply to:

  • Provision of accommodation for immediate family members in exchange for a board payment, for example, teenage or young adult children paying board to parents or aged parents living with their adult children and paying board to them.
  • Accommodation at premises where professional health, welfare care, or education, is provided or where community organisations provide sports training or recreational facilities, such as:
    • hospitals;
    • nursing homes;
    • convalescent homes;
    • retirement homes;
    • institutions providing treatment or facilities for persons with any kind of disability;
    • secondary boarding schools;
    • universities;
    • surf clubs or scouting venues.
  • Home-stay accommodation at premises used as a residential dwelling which is occupied and continues to be occupied as the principal place of residence of at least one person, and in which that person(s) provides accommodation for up to four guests.
  • Accommodation at premises whether in cabins, caravans or mobile homes in local government approved caravan or mobile home parks and camping grounds.

Eligibility requirements

Your application will require:

  1. a statement that, to the best of the applicant's knowledge, the premises have not been substantially altered since the carrying out of the final building inspection and, where relevant, issue of the certificate of classification in respect of the construction of the premises; or where applicable, the most recent building work carried out in respect of the premises for which approval was obtained under the Building Act 1975.
  2. a statement as to the number of sleeping rooms in the premises, and information to identify which rooms are the sleeping rooms;
  3. a statement that, to the best of the applicant's knowledge after having undertaken reasonable inquiries and investigations, the premises are structurally sound and in a state of good repair; and
  4. a statement that, to the best of the applicant's knowledge after having undertaken reasonable inquiries and investigations, the premises are clean and free from vermin and insects. The council may require that the statements in c) and d) be made by way of completion of a pre-printed form incorporating a check-list of relevant matters for inquiry or investigation by the applicant.
  5. a site plan and internal fit out plan, drawn to a scale of 1:100 showing layout of sleeping rooms, common rooms, kitchen, bathrooms, sanitary convenience and laundry and clothes drying facilities.

Ongoing eligibility requirements

Permit conditions

Permits may be issued by the council with conditions such as:

  • limit the number of persons for whom accommodation may be provided in the premises, or a specified part of the premises; and
  • require that specified modifications, or other specified building work related to the premises, be carried out within a specified period; and
  • require the regular maintenance of the premises (including internal and external paintwork); and
  • require the regular cleaning of the premises; and
  • if relevant to the type of accommodation provided / require the regular provisions of clean linen and towels; and
  • require the provisions of services of specified kinds (eg safe custody of valuables) for the persons using the accommodation; and
  • require that the operator or a representative of the operators approved by the local government reside on the premises; and
  • require the operator to keep specified records.


This registration remains in effect for one year.

Application process

Contact council for more information on the current application process and relevant form.


You cannot transfer this registration.

Administering agency

Gold Coast City Council

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Please use these contact details for help or more information:

Gold Coast City Council

Operating address: 135 Bundall Road
Queensland 4217
Mailing address: PO Box 5042
Gold Coast Mail Centre
Queensland 9729
Phone: 1300 694 222
Phone: 07 5582 8211
Fax: 07 5596 3653
Website: City of Gold Coast (Opens in new window)