Rooming accommodation

Rooming accommodation is a term that is defined in the Planning Regulation 2017 - Regulated Requirements and is reflected in Brisbane City Plan 2014 accordingly. Rooming accommodation means the use of premises for the residential accommodation, if each resident:

  • has a right to occupy one or more rooms on the premises; and
  • does not have a right to occupy the whole of the premises; and
  • does not occupy a self-contained unit, as defined under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, Schedule 2, or has only limited facilities available for private use; and
  • shares other rooms, facilities, furniture equipment outside of the resident's room with one or more of the other residents, whether or not the rooms, facilities, furniture or equipment are on the same or different premises.

Rooming accommodation also includes:

  • provision of a food or other services to residents
  • on-site management or staff and associated accommodation.

Examples of rooming accommodation include a boarding house, monastery, hostel and off-site student accommodation.

It does not include a hospice, community residence, dwelling house, short-term accommodation or multiple dwelling.

A house rented under a rooming accommodation agreement

A house leased by several people each under a rooming accommodation agreement is considered several discrete households under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.

Under City Plan, a dwelling house is a premises that is occupied by one household. A house occupied by tenants under a rooming accommodation agreement cannot be defined as a dwelling house under City Plan.

The building classification of a premises rented under a rooming accommodation agreement will be required to be upgraded under the National Construction Code to a Class 1b structure. Additionally, City Plan has similar requirements to MP 2.1 - Fire safety in Budget accommodation buildings and MP 5.7 - Residential services building standard of the Queensland Development Code. You can find out more about these requirements by reviewing the Guide to student accommodation fact sheet.

Preferred locations

City Plan enables rooming accommodation for a maximum of five occupants in the Low density and Character residential zones, providing it complies with the Rooming accommodation code. Building in these zones must have the appearance of a dwelling house being used for domestic purposes. In particular, the number of occupants, vehicle parking, refuse and the location must minimise the amenity impacts on neighbours and the surrounding area.

Accepted development

Rooming accommodation may be accepted development where it meets the following requirements:

  • located in the appropriate zone
  • accommodating five persons or fewer
  • complying with all identified acceptable outcomes of the Rooming accommodation code in Brisbane City Plan 2014.

If your rooming accommodation involves a new premises or an extension to an existing premises then it may be considered accepted development if complying with specific acceptable outcomes of the Dwelling house code or the Dwelling house (small lot) code. 

Building approval

Building approval (also called 'certification') is separate from planning approval. Building approval is required for development that involves carrying out building work under the Planning Act 2016 (PA), as well as under specific building legislation. Licensed private building certifiers or building consultants can provide advice regarding:

  • building work for an existing dwelling or a new dwelling
  • changes to building classification
  • if any building approval is required.

Private building certifiers and building consultants can be found using the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's Find a Local Contractor search.

Building certifiers are responsible for lodging building approvals and certification information with Council.

Private certifiers approving an application for rooming accommodation are required to lodge a certificate of compliance with Brisbane City Council.

Rooming accommodation for individuals who are not students

If you are providing or offering rooming accommodation to individuals who are not students, you may need to be registered and accredited as a service provider under the Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002. Contact the Queensland Government Department of Housing and Public Works (Residential Services Unit) on 07 3008 5824 for more information.

Other approvals to consider

More information

If your proposed rooming accommodation requires a planning approval or your premises are located within a neighbourhood plan area or overlay area, contact Council's Business Hotline 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation.

Last updated: 14 March 2022

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