Some student accommodation is exempt from the requirements of the Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002 (the Act).
What is student accommodation?
Student accommodation includes rooms that students rent which are independent from educational institutions, as well as funding from the Department of Education, Training and Employment.
Why is it exempt?
Before 2004, the Act unintentionally included student accommodation in the general definition of a residential service. However, this legislation was never meant to regulate student accommodation.
In 2004, changes to the law resolved the situation. Now the Act does not cover students.
How can providers claim the exemption?
To claim the exemption, you must prove that you provide accommodation mainly to people enrolled in approved education or study courses.
For the criteria for approved courses, contact the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training.
You can still claim the exemption if your service has a mix of students and non-students. If the number of students fluctuates over the year, you must prove that your service provides accommodation mainly to students.
Although we determine exemptions on a case-by-case basis, we largely consider the number of residents enrolled in approved courses over time.
Keep records of residents and enrolment details to demonstrate a pattern of occupancy and prove that mainly students use the service.
What if non-students live in the accommodation?
If you cannot clearly prove that your residents are mainly students, we consider other factors, such as:
- the accommodation's original purpose
- the type of resident that you operate for and market to
- any student facilities you provide
- the number of non-student residents and how long they have lived there
- the period that students are enrolled in approved courses.
Does student accommodation meet safety standards?
Room-only student accommodation that was built before 1992, and which houses more than 6 residents who share facilities, must still meet fire safety requirements for budget accommodation buildings.
Contact your local government authority for more information, or contact the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service for fire safety requirements for budget accommodation buildings.
Do student residents have tenancy protection?
Residents in student accommodation have tenancy protection under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.