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Short-term accommodation in Noosa: Rules, regulations and requirements

Short-term accommodation in Noosa: Rules, regulations and requirements


Posted October 16, 2020
Noosa Plan 2020, Tourism & Events, Town Planning

UPDATE: Read more about the 2021  proposed changes to Noosa Shire’s local laws governing short stay letting operations by clicking here.

A lot of questions have been raised about short-term accommodation or short-term rentals in Noosa by the recently implemented changes to the Noosa Plan 2020.

The changes came into effect on 31 July 2020, and there is some confusion about what the changes mean. What is the impact on the short-term accommodation market and to whom and what will the changes apply?

  • Are short-term rentals allowed in Noosa?
  • Can I offer short-term accommodation?
  • Do I need approval to offer short-term rentals?
  • Is short-term accommodation consistent or inconsistent use in my residential zone?
  • Can I rent out my granny flat?
  • Can I use my own house as a short-term rental?
  • Does my own holiday house classify as short-term accommodation?
  • What are the different requirements for short-term accommodation in Low, Medium and High-Density Residential Zones, in Tourism Accommodation Zones, in Rural Residential Zones and Rural Zones?

The Noosa Plan changes also present new opportunities for short-term accommodation development. RG Strategic can help identify ways to capitalise on those opportunities.

Short-term accommodation experts

RG Strategic town planners work daily with the planning requirements of the Noosa Plan.

We advise Tourism Noosa members, letting and management agents and agencies.

We help identify opportunities and requirements around the short-term accommodation regulations in the Plan.

Noosa accommodation rules

What is short-term accommodation?

Firstly, Noosa Council’s definition of short-term accommodation excludes hotels, nature-based tourism, resort complexes or tourist parks. It also excludes bed and breakfast style visitor accommodation hosted in the home.

What is included in their definition is:

  • a dwelling (eg a house, duplex, unit or apartment) used in its entirety for short-term holiday letting;
  • motels;
  • backpacker and hostel accommodation;
  • farm-stays;
  • cottages;
  • cabins; and
  • permanent tents.

All of the above-included forms of accommodation fall under the Noosa Plan regulations for short-term accommodation if rented or let for less than 3 months consecutively to the same person.

If the rental period is longer than 3 months the accommodation is not classified as short-term and other requirements or regulations will apply.

You also need to ensure that the zoning does not restrict your use for the location of your property.

RG Strategic can help determine if your property lawfully falls within the Council’s definition and ensuring there are no zoning restrictions on your property.

If there are zoning restrictions, RG Strategic can prepare your required development application, superseded planning application, code assessment application, or impact assessment application.


What about existing use rights?

Some properties already used for short-term accommodation may have existing use rights if they have been used lawfully as short-term accommodation before the current changes to the Noosa Plan.

In some cases you may require further approvals for the ongoing management and operation of the use under a proposed local law.

RG Strategic can help determine if you have a case for existing use rights. We can assist with documenting evidence to show existing use, including the determination of the period the property has been lawfully used as short term accommodation.

What are the new opportunities for short-term accommodation in Noosa?

The changes in the Noosa Plan also present property owners with new opportunities based on the location of their property.

Depending on your zone, some properties can qualify as short-term accommodation without approval as long as the use is consistent with the use defined for the zone.

The rules vary depending on the type of accommodation offered and the applicable zones and their defined consistent uses.

short term accommodation rules

New short-term letting local laws

Noosa Council is currently preparing new short-term letting local laws. These laws may create new requirements for your property.

This is to ensure there are consistent rules and regulations for the ongoing use and any associated issues with the provision of short-term letting.

Note that these new local laws, when adopted, will apply to both new properties and existing use rights properties.

Once published, we’ll review them and advise our clients of any extra requirements or obligations imposed.

Short-term accommodation consultants: Advice and support

If you have questions about your existing property, contact us for the right advice and peace of mind.

Our experienced town planners can also help you with any new development or accommodation offering.

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