Is Your Airbnb a Party House?

Is Your Airbnb a Party House?

Airbnb a Party House in Queensland Australia

Airbnb to recreate trip from ‘Around the World in 80 Days’

Have you considered the ramifications of renting your house to group of people celebrating a special occasion?

What a lot of property owners who rent out their property via websites such as Airbnb don’t realise is that most Council’s consider this Short-term Accommodation and operating a Short-term Accommodation use is assessable development under the planning scheme requiring development approval.

Noise complaints from neighbours can lead to Council asserting that your property is a ‘Party House’ which will result in you receiving a Show Cause Notice.

Even though you may not be advertising your property as a ‘Party House’ or even intending for the property to be used as a Party House guests will inevitably turn the music up and annoy your neighbours.

Under the Planning Act a party house means premises containing a dwelling that is used to provide, for a fee, accommodation or facilities for

guests if—

(a) guests regularly use all or part of the premises for parties (bucks parties, hens parties, raves, or wedding receptions, for example); and

(b) the accommodation or facilities are provided for a period of less than 10 days; and

(c) the owner of the premises does not occupy the premises during that period.

As you can see from the above, it’s not hard to fall under the banner of ‘Party House’ while renting out your house via Airbnb.  Made even worse is Gold Coast’s Councils definition for regularly.

The term regularly under the Gold Coast City Plan differs to what most dictionaries consider ‘regular’. Under the City Plan regularly for the purposes of a Party House is taken to mean used more than twice in any consecutive 12 months. So not really that regular…

As with most disruptive technologies the current rules and regulations are behind the times and Council’s are issuing Show Cause Notices to Airbnb hosts for Party Houses and requiring they lodge an application for a Short-term Accommodation. However, Councils have been reluctant to approve such applications in residential areas.

So, while legislation catches up with the times, prevention is better than a cure. That is, to avoid any complications with your Airbnb do your best to restrict parties occurring on your property and avoid any noise complaints from surrounding neighbours.


Darcy Phelan

Town Planner