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An Overview of Guest House Registration

In India, the MoT (Ministry of Tourism) has introduced a Voluntary Scheme for Guest House Registration or Guest House Approval to standardise the accommodation of hotels in the budget category for domestic as well as international tourists in India. This scheme's objective is to ensure good, clean, fair, hygienic, and upgraded facilities & practices in a large number of Guest Houses & unregulated accommodation units that spring up in towns & cities. Such measures may not only increase hotel accommodation in a budget category but also generate employment & revenue for the States.

A Guest House is also known as an in-law suite because it is a perfect place to host guests on visits. It also goes by various regional colloquialisms such as cottages, casitas, flats, and tiny houses. If you are dreaming about a Guest House Business in India, you may be thinking that it would be an easy method to bring in extra money each month. However, you can make a good profit with short-term rentals.

Important Points to Consider When Starting a Guest House Business in India

Following are some vital points to consider when starting a Guest House Business in India:

  • Management: Don't think that you can see your guests, ensure that your property is fully equipped to meet the demand of modern visitors or tourists or travellers. And obviously, it is not easy for one person to handle all these things, but a well-managed property makes all the difference in your success. If your guests or visitors have a flawless experience from start to finish, they are more likely to give a positive review and they will recommend you to friends & become repeat guests. If your guests are not impressed, then they are likely to leave a poor review which will definitely affect your future bookings. So, a good management will help you to grow your business.
  • Fulfil Guest Needs: It is important that guests are often treated as an afterthought, with owners not listening to feedback, not providing what guests need, or worse, not communicating properly with guests. If your guest house is on your property, then you will need to make sure that guests can access features like BBQs, swimming pools, Wi-Fi, etc. You will need to equip the guest house with all the amenities that a modern visitor or traveller would expect.
  • Reputation: It means that you should not only focus on providing the basics only. You also need to repeatedly work at building your reputation. A bad review or a complaint can be damaging to any business. Any new businesses will find poor reviews especially harmful or damaging. This is one of the main reasons to consider working with a dedicated manager who will actively market your property across various channels. It will give you the advantage of fully-trained staff as well, who can meet guests, provide assistance & ensure that your guests' needs are met consistently & thoroughly.

Minimum Requirements for Guest House Registration in India

Following are the minimum requirements for Guest House Registration in India:

  • Minimum 6 lettable rooms with proper ventilation & six meters approach road for Ambulance or Taxi (The road width of minimum 6 meters wouldn't be mandatory in those cities, where Guest House on road width of less than six meters are allowed as per local rules or bye-laws).
  • 25% of the rooms should have heating or air conditioning facilities.
  • Western W.C. Toilet.
  • Segregated wet & dry garbage disposal system should be available.
  • Reception facility with a telephone.
  • Sufficient lighting, shelves, screening on all windows, wardrobe, or opaque curtains.
  • The minimum size of the Guest House room should be 120 square feet for a double bed (or more). For a single bedroom, the minimum size of the room should be 80 square feet.
  • The minimum size of the bathroom should be 30 square feet for a double room. For a single bedroom, the minimum size of the bathroom should be 20 square feet.
  • Fire & emergency measures.
  • Facility for sufficient parking space.
  • Pest control of house, kitchen, guest rooms, staff facilities & back areas to be done regularly.
  • CCTV in public areas along with data backup is compulsory.
  • Safe-keeping facilities at the reception.
  • Tie-up with a nearby Hospital or Doctor-on-call facility.
  • RO treated or UV treated water or branded bottled water to be made available for guests. Availability of 24 hours water. UV treated water or RO treated water to be used for cooking.
  • Dining room serving breakfast & dinner with proper cutlery & glassware dining room would not be mandatory in cases where the bye-laws of the respective State/Local Body do not permit dining room in Guest houses. (Similarly, bar wouldn't mandatory in cases where the local bye-laws of the respective State or Local Body don't permit dining rooms in Guest Houses).
  • Hygiene or Cleanliness: Public areas or front areas, kitchen, pantry, dining area or bar (where applicable as per bye-laws), garbage area, staff facilities & back areas, including maintenance areas. (Minimum 60% marks are required under Criteria no. 6 of the Mark Sheet regarding Hygiene or Cleanliness).
  • Registration with local authorities like Municipality, Water, State Tourism Department or Corporation, Police, Electricity.

Vital Documents Required for Guest House Registration

Following are the vital Documents required for Guest House Registration:

Documents Submitted by the Guest Houses applying for Approval

  • Name of the Guest House.
  • A detailed postal address of Guest House along with the contact details such as fax, email address or telephone number.
  • Name & address of the owners or promoters along with the statement on their business antecedents.

Details of the Site

  • Distance in Kilometers (Km) from Railway Station & Airport.
  • Located on State or National Highway.
  • Distance from the city centre or downtown or shopping area etc.

Documents that Specify the Guest House Details

  • Area of the Guest House (in square meters)
  • Public areas details along with the size in square feet (restaurants, utility shop, health club, lobby or lounge, bar, business centre, etc.)
  • Eco-friendly practices
  • Security-related features
  • Copy of Land or Property Use Permission to run Guest House from respective Authority or Registration from the Local Authorities
  • Facilities for power backup (generators etc.)
  • Details of the firefighting measures, hydrants, etc.
  • Title- owned or leased with the proofs of sale & lease deed
  • Details of energy saving & water conservation & other initiatives.

Documents Regarding the Status of the Promoter or Owner

  • In the case of a Private or Public Limited Company, submit MoA (Memorandum of Association) and AoA (Articles of Association)
  • If proprietary concern, full name, address of proprietor & Certificate of Registration (CoR) to be submitted
  • Location of the Guest House along with the postal address
  • If Partnership, a proof of Partnership Deed & Certificate of Registration (CoR).

Certificates or No Objection Certificates (NOCs)

  • Certificate or License from Municipality or Corporation to State that the establishment is registered as a Guest House with the clearance by the respective Authority to the establishment on a sanitary or hygienic point of view.
  • NOC concerning the fire fighting arrangement from the Fire Service Department.
  • Money Changers License (if any).
  • Any other Clearance or License from the Local Authority (if needed).
  • Bar License (required as per the local laws or regulations).
  • Public liability insurance.
  • Certificate or License from the concerned Police Department authorising the running of a Guest House.
  • Segregation of areas for smoking & non-smoking under the Rules.
  • If approved earlier; a proof of the earlier Approval Certificate that is issued by the Ministry of Tourism.
  • Sanctioned building plans or occupancy certificates.

Note: The above-mentioned NOCs or certificates are the responsibility of the promoters, owners, and respective company as the case may be. The Approval is no substitute for any approval and the Approval provided is liable to be withdrawn without any prior notice in case of violations or misrepresentation of facts.

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Procedure for Guest House Registration

Following is the procedure for Guest House Registration:

Filing of the Application: First, our experts will file the Application for the Guest House Registration or Guest House Approval. In case of a new user, we will have to get registered in the official website. Here, our expert will fill out the Registration form with all the details such as name, address, PIN Code, contact number, type of Guest House, owner status, contact person, etc.,

Upload Documents: After filing the application form for Guest House Registration, our expert will collect all the Documents and upload the Documents. The uploaded Documents that are received from the applicant after examination in all respects would be acknowledged online.

Payments: In this step, the applicant needs to pay the application fee.

Inspection: Upon receipt of the Application complete in all aspects, the Guest House will be inspected by the HRACC (Hotel and Restaurant Approval & Classification Committee).

Issuance of Certificate: The HRACC would inspect the establishment at any time without any notice before as the Guest House is expected to maintain the vital standards at all times. The Committee would request that its members be held overnight to examine the level of services. Guest House Registration Certificate will be issued under the signatures of the respective Regional Director subject to the Approval of the respective Authority.

Validity of the Guest House Registration Certificate

The Guest Houses seeking Approval must apply three months before the expiry of the current period of the Approval. Any alterations in the plans for the Management of the Guest Houses must be informed to the HRACC, Government of India. The Guest House Registration Certificate would be valid for 5 years from the issuance date of the orders/in case of the re-approval from the expiry date of the earlier Approval provided that the Application for the Registration has been received within the suggested time along with all the Documents.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A Guest House is also known as an in-law suite because it is a perfect place to host guests on visits. It also goes by various regional colloquialisms such as cottages, casitas, flats, and tiny houses.

The hotel maintains a staff presence of 24 hrs a day & 7 days a week, on the other side a guest house has a more limited staff.

A minimum of 06 rooms are required for the Guest House.

Documents required for Approval of the Guest House:

  • Ownership Status
  • ID proof or PAN of the applicant
  • Health Trade License issued by MCD (Municipal Corporation)
  • License to keep a Place of Public Entertainment by DPFSC or Delhi Police
  • Fire Safety Certificate or NOC by Fire Department Service
  • Site building plan approved by Municipal Authorities
  • A certificate with regard to tie-up with nearby Hospital or Doctor on-call facility
  • Certificate regarding transport facility with authorised Tour Operator.

The validity of the Registration Certificate is 05 years from the date of issue of the License or Certificate.

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