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What are granny flats and why build one?

The term "Granny Flat" is the common name given to a small secondary dwelling on a housing block. Despite the name,                         can be utilised in a number of ways and are not just reserved for the use of elderly females.

The permitted use for a granny flat varies from council to council but generally falls into the category of a 'Dependent Person's Unit'. Many councils allow a second dwelling on a block on the condition that it must be a 'Relocatable' dwelling used to accommodate a person who is dependent on the main dwelling. There is no age criteria for this rule so the dependent person can be of any age, as long as they are in some way dependent.

With an ageing population and a shortage of aged care facilities in the broader community the cost of nursing home and elderly care accommodation is becoming prohibitive for many people. For this reason, granny flats are becoming more popular as a cost effective aged care solution. The benefits of purchasing a granny flat in this situation is twofold. Firstly, the dependent person is accommodated in a caring environment, close to family whilst retaining their independence. Secondly, the family has the security of knowing that their money has been invested in a building which can be sold and relocated at an time in the future, or can remain on site adding value to the primary residence.

What else can granny flats be used for?

Granny flats can also be used for alternative accommodation such as Bed-and-Breakfast or bed-sit rentals. For these types of 'commercial' uses, however, your local council will have the final say as to whether the use is permissible or not. Councils have all sorts of overlays or zones that determine whether your site complies for a certain type of development. Some of these zones are:
















Significant Vegetation

These zones carry with them certain restrictions/permissions as determined by individual councils. The zones can also overlap each other, so your site could possibly be deemed to be something like 'Residential-Heritage-Tourism' or any number of other combinations.

It is worth finding out from council, (especially if you are looking to buy an existing house or parcel of land) what overlays are relevant to the block and if a planning permit is required for your intended use.

At                          , we specialise in the construction and placement of granny flats. If you are considering purchasing a granny flat or have any questions regarding council requirements, special needs or if you require further information, please don't hesitate to                     .

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