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What Do You Need to Open a B&B in Johannesburg: All You Need to Know


So you have bought a property in or you want to convert your existing home to a B&B, you are required to abide by applicable laws and regulations or else you may be fined or even jailed. Johanneburg has its own by-laws that you must abide by in order to run your B&B or guest house without problems from the law.


Accommodation establishments in Johannesburg are regulated under Chapter 10 of a by-law that deals with public health laws.


The main purpose of this by-law is to ensure that premises are situated, designed, constructed and equipped to prevent a health hazard through the contamination of foodstuffs. It is also to ensure that food is hygienically prepared or handled and that your B&B premises provide appropriate facilities to accommodate people for profit.


This permit will only be issued when the establishment has complied with the requirements as outlined in Section 62 of Chapter 10 of the by-law.


What is a Bed and breakfast (B&B)?

A B&B is an accommodation in a privately-owned home where the owner/manager lives on the property; where breakfast is served and the guest shares the public areas with other guests and/or the host family.  Normally a B&B has up to 3 sellable rooms that can accommodation 6 guests.


bed and breakfast management course


Five easy steps to opening a Bed & Breakfast in Johannesburg

Here are 5 easy steps to opening a Bed & Breakfast in Johannesburg (source: www.joburg.org.za). For maximum accuracy, please verify departments and accurate locations with the relevant authorities.


Step #1 -  Title Deed

Check your Title Deed to ascertain whether or not your property qualifies for the relevant business rights.

To determine the current zoning of your property take a copy of the Title Deed to the GIS Information Counter on the 8th Floor of Block A at the Metro Centre, situated at 158 Loveday Street, Braamfontein.

No information is given over the phone so you must visit in person. 


Step #2 - Zoning

Once you have determined the zoning of your property you must visit the Town Planner responsible for your area.

Planners are available at the Metro Centre from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 13:00.

Step #3 - Consent Use/ Re-zoning

The Town Planner will let you know whether you need to apply for Consent Use or the Re-zoning of your property.

Collect the relevant application form (either for Consent Use or Re-zoning) from the Registration counter on the 8th Floor of the Metro Centre A Block.

The application form will state what additional documentation you need to include.
At this point you should employ a registered Town Planning Consultant to help you with the application process.


Step #4 - Inspection


After approximately 60 days the Land Use Management Department will let you know the outcome of your application.

Your property is likely to be inspected at this stage and you are required to advertise to state your intention of establishing a B&B on your property.

Assuming that there are no objections, your application will be finalised within 6 to 12 months. However, should you face objections from any party you will be required to attend a hearing with the City of Johannesburg.

You should abstain from any building renovations until your application has been approved.


Step #5 - Approval

As well as gaining approval from the City of Johannesburg to establish a B&B you must get the following:


Conference Facilities

Should you wish to offer conference facilities, they fall under a different legislation and you will require different zoning. You must apply to have your property re-zoned.



  • Application Costs – R443 for Consent Use and R2500 for Re-zoning
  • Fire Clearance – R149
  • Certificate of Acceptability – Free
  • Business License – R385
  • Health Permit – R630


*Please note that these are estimates and are to give you an idea. Costs may have changed. Please find out latest costs from relevant authorities.

Here are some important contacts to help you:

  • Fire Clearance Certificate                     -           Local Fire Department
  • Public Health Permit                             -           Environmental Health Department
  • Certificate of Acceptability                   -           Environmental Health Department
  • Business License                                    -           Environmental Health Department
  • Building Approval                                  -           Development Management Department
  • Liquor License                                        -           Gauteng Liquor Board


Are you running a B&B or Guest House or you are planning to own one? Where are you based. Please leave us a comment below. 


Kind Regards, 


Samkeliso Nkwanyane

Hospitality Coach, Speaker & Consultant


Bed & Breakfast Management Distance Learning Course

Running a B&B is not as easy as it looks. The potential to make a lot of money is there, as well as the potential of running it to the ground. We recommend that you consider enrolling for the B&B Management Distance Learning Course in order to get all the tools you need to run your business professionally and make good profit. You study in the comfort of your own space in your own pace. Everything is sent to you via email and you submit assignments via email.