Short Stay Letting and Home Hosted Accommodation Experts

Ensuring compliance with all Noosa Council's Short Term Accommodation requirements

Short Term Accommodation Local Laws Noosa

Since October 2020 Noosa Shire Council have been touting new rules for Short Term Accommodation (STA) providers in Noosa.

As of 1 February 2022, these rules come into effect and, a one-off Local Law application will need to be made for all existing and new properties operating short stay letting or home hosted accommodation unless identified as exempt.

RG Strategic’s STA specialist consultants can help you navigate the new rules and requirements ensuring your existing or proposed short term accommodation meets all requirements and is approved.

Below we highlight the things you need to know about council’s new rules including who these rules apply to, what the actual requirements are, and our issues and concerns about the rules and how they can trap unwary STA operators. We highlight why it’s in your best interest to get advice and professional support for preparing and lodging your required applications, setting up the new policies and procedures required and how RG’s STA team can help with that. Finally, we give you a potted history of how we have ended up where we are today.

We’ll continue to update this page as new information, or changes, come to light.

Who do the Short Term Accommodation rules apply to?

Council’s new rules apply across a wide range of short term holiday letting and they have divided them into two categories:

  • Short Stay Letting; and
  • Home Hosted Accommodation

Council’s examples of Short Stay Letting options in Noosa include:

  • the use of an entire dwelling (whether that’s a house, duplex, unit or apartment) for short term holiday letting to guests for periods of less than three months;
  • motels;
  • backpacker or hostel accommodation; and
  • farm-stays, cottages, cabins and permanent tents.

Home Hosted Accommodation includes offerings where only part of the dwelling is rented out and the primary resident resides in the primary dwelling including rooms in the main house, a cabin or studio.

Irrespective of which offering you provide, you will still need to abide by Local Law requirements including the new application process.

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August 16, 2021 – The entire team at RG Strategic were extremely knowledgeable, prompt & efficient in getting our STA applications to council, we could not have done it without them, great teamwork!

Noosa Secret Destinations – Noosa

Can I operate, or continue to operate short term accommodation?

To determine if you can operate, or continue to operate short stay letting from your property you first need to determine in what town planning zone your property is located in.

Note that home hosted accommodation, where you host guests in bed and breakfast style accommodation or within spare rooms within a dwelling does not need planning approval but still needs to adhere to the STA local laws including application requirements as highlighted above. It’s a subtle difference but it is definitely a trap for busy operators who don’t get a chance to review and absorb all of council’s communication on this topic.

Different allowances exist for different planning zones and it’s imperative that you understand council’s zoning, your offering, and frequency of offering (how often or for how long you let your property) to determine whether STA letting is allowed in your property.

Council’s requirements are different for Low, medium and high-density residential zones and for tourist, rural residential, and rural zones.

Depending on the zone, regulations and requirements differ in terms of what is allowed and what application imposts exist.

As an example, under Town Planning requirements if you are in a Low Residential Zone, you are allowed to conduct Home Hosted accommodation without planning approval — BUT only if your letting and property meet a raft of stipulations AND you have applied under the Short Term Accommodation Local Laws provisions and meet all requirements.

You may also qualify under Town Planning Existing Use Rights. Again the requirements will differ depending on whether it’s a stand-alone dwelling, a duplex or multiple dwelling. RG Strategic can help determine if, and prove to council, you have existing use rights.

Remember that just because you may be allowed, either under the Town Planning requirements or through existing use rights, to operate STA at your dwelling, you still need to meet any and all council’s short stay letting and home hosted accommodation rules and regulations required for your type of operation, including the Local Law application submission procedure.

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August 4, 2021 – A very pleasing experience working with Russell and his team at RG Strategic. We achieved just the outcome we desired for our application to Noosa Council. Russell and his team are a pleasure to work with, timely in their responsiveness, and authoritative and persuasive in the proposal they prepared on our behalf. We are happy to recommend RG Strategic.

Greg Yeatman

Short Term Accommodation Local Law application requirements

An application form must be completed for your property and any relevant application fees paid (currently fees are waived until June 30 2022). Note that application forms will be different for Short Stay Letting versus Home Hosted Accommodation. We are still waiting for these forms to be available even though the STA Local Law commences on February 1st.

Application requirements state:

  • You must submit a site plan showing the location of all buildings, including any outdoor entertainment areas, swimming pools or spas, vehicle parking areas, AND the location of each window and door opening of any adjoining residence
  • You must submit a floor plan of your dwelling showing the use of each room within it and the maximum number of people to be accommodated in each bedroom.
  • You need to supply a confirmation that the premises can be lawfully used for short stay letting or home hosted accommodation. You can do this through a development approval; as accepted development or accepted development subject to requirements in Noosa Plan 2020; or by existing use rights; and ensuring the dwelling complies with development approval conditions, or if for existing use rights, the relevant planning scheme requirements at the time the short stay letting use commenced.
  • You will need to confirm the premises will not be used as a party house.
  • You will need to confirm the premises is lawfully constructed and classified for its use.
  • You will need to have current pool safety certification issued by a licensed QBCC pool safety inspector.
  • You will need current electrical safety certification for smoke alarms issued by a licensed electrical contractor.
  • You will need to provide a contact person and the name and telephone number of this person responsible for the premises. You will need to confirm that this contact person is available 24 hours a day 7 days per week and is within  20km of the premises. This person is responsible for the premises including addressing any complaints and visitor queries.

Be aware, that these are just the universal requirements. If your operation is Home Hosted Accommodation, there are three pages of “Conditions of approval for home hosted accommodation”. Short Stay Letting operators get four pages of “Standard conditions of approval”. Both “Conditions of approval for Home Hosted Accommodation” and “Standard conditions of approval” for Short Stay Letting “must be met at all times”.

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August 3, 2021 – Another fantastic result working with Russell and the team at RG Strategic. RG’s years of experience, professional and personable approach to all Noosa Shire Planning and Development issues have allowed for a very smooth worry-free STA process and successful result for our Noosa house. With our highest recommendation, RG Strategic know their stuff and know how to get the job done within the system which is greatly appreciated.

Ian Finlay

Issues and Concerns

It is January 2022 as we write this and the new rules come into effect in less than a week. However, it is painfully clear that council still does not have a handle on the new legislation and the final application form is yet to be published.

We have also had issues with clients, who have received prior use exemptions, receiving letters from council saying they are not eligible to offer short term accommodation. This is causing a lot of angst and worry but luckily we have been able to go in and bat for them and address these “clerical” issues.

We still stand by our previous concerns about requirements that seem onerous or overbearing on STA operators, in particular, the requirement to have a contact person within 20 minutes of the property, and importantly, be able to be present within 20 minutes upon request. We stand by our assessment that this is onerous. An operator can live within the shire but still not be able to reach their STA operation within 20 minutes depending on the location of the two relevant properties. The fact remains though that many operators live outside the local government area and much farther than 20 minutes away.

Operators will be required to develop a “Code of Conduct” including standard and specific property inclusions and provide that to guests. While not onerous in itself as we are sure templated versions will be circulating, we don’t believe holidaymakers will spend time reading codes of conduct.

Do you need help with your Short Term Accommodation application and requirements?

RG Strategic have followed the progress of the development of these laws since their inception. We have unparalleled insight into the requirements and our process ensures your property:

  • is allowable as a short stay letting under council’s zoning.
  • meets all application and ongoing requirements for operating as short term accommodation

We help make a complex process simple to secure your STA operation.

The RG Strategic Short Term Accommodation Assessment Process

The process and rules as they stand can be confusing and inconsistent. However, operators will have to work through this teething time of the new laws to be able to operate legally providing short term accommodation.

The STA team at RG Strategic are your partners in this process taking away the headache of this complicated process.

When you engage RG to handle your STA requirements we will work through all elements as required. We are able to prepare and lodge your registration/application including the following requirements:

  • Complete application
  • Prepare site and floor plan,
  • Detail adjoining property, windows and openings
  • Confirm and document Existing Use Rights or Town Planning confirmation
  • Review Pool Safety Certificate for currency
  • Review Electrical Safety Certificate for smoke alarms for currency
  • Review and include Building construction and classification, and
  • Confirm and list contact persons/managing agency

Additionally, if the following required documentation cannot be provided, RG Strategic will provide a fee proposal for these additional requirements, documents and activities to be undertaken to be able to complete the application:

  • Pool Safety Certificate,
  • Current Electrical Safety Certificate for smoke alarms,
  • Building construction and classification.

Free Short Term Accommodation consultation

To gain confidence that you will meet all required obligations when the new rules come into effect, take advantage of our free 30 minute consultation today.

Contact us now using the details below to arrange your free consultation.

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October 25, 2019 – I can’t recommend highly enough Russell Green (Town Planning Consultant) and his team at RG Strategic. Noosa is challenged currently by proposed changes to our town plan, which will potentially seriously impact our future economic growth. As a manager of one of Queensland’s largest luxury accommodation providers, based in Noosa and representing more than 200 individual property investors, Russell has been an invaluable resource as we seek to ensure they are well informed as to these proposed impacts to their property values and use. His experience as a Councillor and Planner within Council gives him unique access and insight which serves to save time and cost when seeking his advice and expertise. Sue Willis, Managing Director, R&W Noosa Holidays

Sue Willis – R&W Noosa Holidays – Noosa

History of the latest rule changes

In October 2020 new rules and regulations came into effect for short term accommodation in Noosa as part of the new Noosa 2020 planning scheme. While the new scheme included new rules and new opportunities, council also announced they were preparing new STA laws which would impact operators. At that stage, no announcements were made about what these new rules and regulations would entail.

Then in March 2021 Noosa Council considered proposed new rules and imposts on short term accommodation operators at their Planning and Environment Committee meeting. This is where we started to get a first glimpse of what the council was thinking in terms of these new rules and regulations. We immediately identified the good and the bad contained within the proposed rules and set about a program of consultancy with council and our STA clients in order to gain further insights into how council saw the new rules applying.

Our concerns back then were that these proposed rules were restrictive and imposed as a knee-jerk reaction to some particular fervent submissions to the first round of public consultation. Our concerns, also outlined above, were well-founded and have since been echoed by other operators in the industry.

In April 2021, Council opened up public comments to the proposed changes. This period of public consultation seems to have had little impact on the final outcomes for STA operators. Many of what we believe are onerous requirements remain in the new rules as they are being rolled out.

The complex application requirements and the ongoing stipulations will make short stay accommodation unviable for many sole operators.

RG Strategic have waded through the intricacies of the new rules and regulations and can assist all operators with applications and meeting ongoing requirements. Contact us immediately so we can commence your application now and ensure the ongoing success of your operation.

Contact us about your STA requirements

Call us on 07 5474 3873 or use the form below.

A massive thank you to Russell Green for his amazing thorough and professional work!! We came to Russell with a dream and he turned it into a reality. Our business was approved within a couple of very short months and we have been up and running for nearly 4 months now. Our business is now succeeding amazingly well in such a short time and we could not be more thankful!!!

Melissa Donnelly
Nirvana Life - Sunrise Beach
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Cannot rate Russell's advice more highly. Cut to the core of the issue quickly, was incredibly responsive to our needs and could not have been more helpful. Highly recommend!

Rob Broadhead
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Russell Green from RG Strategic helped us on our Parkridge Noosa project with council negotiation, town planning and management of neighbourhood stakeholders. I would be happy to recommend Russell Green personally.

Greggory Piercy
Parkridge - Noosa
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We engaged Russell Green and RG Strategic Town Planners to navigate us through our past approvals for liquor licence, food premises and town planning. The teams experience in understanding Councils processes demonstrated to us a thorough and intimate knowledge of development planning and liquor licence requirements. Coupled with this, their network of connections which run deep through all tiers of government and industry. Experience, knowledge, and connections allows RG Strategic and Russell Green to stand head and shoulders above the mob of development planners on the Sunshine Coast and I cannot highly recommend them more.

Pete Thomas
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