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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Housing > Industry regulation > Residential services > Illegal boarding houses and rooming accommodation

Illegal boarding houses and rooming accommodation

Reporting illegal residential services

Operating an unregistered residential service is a breach of the Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002.

Penalties of up to $130,550 can apply if operators don’t meet the requirements.

If you suspect that an unregistered boarding house or rooming accommodation operates in your neighbourhood, contact us by:

Our Registry Services unit will investigate all concerns about potentially illegal residential services.

See the public register of registered residential services in Queensland, which includes the maximum number of residents allow to occupy the premises.

Note: Some accommodation services are not considered residential services. Read more about what is and isn’t a residential service.

Government investigation of illegal residential services

Between 9 December 2016 and 31 March 2017, the Queensland Government conducted an investigation to strengthen arrangements for protecting vulnerable people seeking low-cost, short or long-term accommodation.

We invited the public, service providers, other government agencies, local government authorities, advocates and other stakeholders to report concerns about potentially illegal accommodation services, and gaps and issues with the current legislative and regulatory protections.

We then focused on 36 complaints of alleged illegal accommodation premises operating as residential services or rooming accommodation in Queensland.

On 6 June 2017, the Minister for Housing and Public Works released the investigation findings.

Through the investigation, we identified ways to improve the Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002 to ensure that:

  • provisions that could allow premises to operate unregistered are not misused
  • registered premises have a fire safety management plan and comply with it
  • only suitable people can manage and operate residential services
  • premises comply with accreditation standards sooner
  • the regulator is given an appropriate level of information to ensure service providers comply with the law.

These improvements to the Act, and amendments to fix ambiguity and uncertainty, progressed as part of the Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Act 2017. Read more about changes to the Residential Services Act.

Read the final report from the investigation:



Last updated 29 March 2019    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


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