Aussie landlord’s controversial rule that denies tenants ‘any joy’

The listing was slammed for a condition included in the rental agreement, but there may be a safety reason behind the rule.

Aussies navigating the national housing crisis are being forced to make tough decisions, from moving back in with parents to accepting sub-par accomodation to secure a roof over their head. But home seekers were shocked to find renting an apartment in Brisbane's southern suburb of Yeerongpilly comes with a catch — tenants cannot have overnight guests.

The woman who shared the listing suggested the possible implications this rule would impose — making the sweeping statement that "landlords are banning sex". It led one prospective tenant to say the conditions of the tenancy would deny them "any joy in life".

Left, the TikToker speaks to camera. Right, overnight guest ban in the rental listing reads 'guests are permitted to visit but are not able to stay overnight'.
The property listing states overnight guests are banned. Source: TikTok and

"So even though it's your apartment that you live in by yourself [and] that you pay rent for... no sleepovers?" the woman asked in disbelief.

The rental in question is one of five self-contained 'apartments' in a building and was designed for single occupancy, according to the listing.

Aussies react to strict rental condition

After the TikToker raised the condition of the rental online, many questioned how it would be enforced, while others admitted they've had to abide by a similar rule.

"I was renting a one bedroom unit and my landlord told me my partner could only stay Friday and Saturday, which is crazy," one woman said, while another accused the landlord of being "greedy" choosing to split the house into seperate dwellings for more money.

Left, the living area with a TV and coffee table. Right, the bedroom with a window above the bed and a beside table.
The space is self-contained with a bedroom as well as a living area and kitchenette. Source:

Reason behind 'no overnight guest' rule

Tenants across Australia have the right to have guests visit and stay in their accommodation short-term, however, rentals such as the one above — which are known as micro apartments or rooming accommodation — have to abide by council fire safety restrictions.

"One of the Brisbane City Council (BCC) requirements for rooming accommodation developments is that the house does not accommodate more than five persons," a spokesperson for Core Property Advisory, the real estate agency advertising the accommodation, told Yahoo News Australia.

"We have five rooms in this house; therefore, by law we must stipulate in the Rooming Accommodation Agreement that residents cannot have overnight guests to ensure we are complying with BCC regulations surrounding this type of property."

The no overnight guest rule is enforced by landlords as a condition of residence to ensure the accommodation does not exceed fire safety code numbers, with the listing above saying it is a "council and fire restriction".

"It’s a fire restriction that’s common in many micro or studio apartments. It's more for legal reasons so you can’t blame them if an incident does occur," one explained online.

Although the rule appears warranted in this situation, renters are encouraged to not just accept such house rules and instead do their own research to ensure what is being asked is legal.

"Doing your own research and fact checking what they say — because often an agent will just claim this is the law and that's just completely not the case — is very important," Richard Whitten, money and property expert at Finder told Yahoo News Australia last month.

Mr Whitten said it's important to keep in mind that agencies can write "whatever they want in a contract" as they have the "upper hand" currently, but it doesn't mean the rules are always lawful or enforceable.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.