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Granny Flats: what you need to know

One trend which we are seeing a lot more of is people wanting to build a granny flat on their Property either for additional family accommodation or to generate an income stream.

Granny flats, or secondary dwellings, are allowed in a number of residential zones and reference should be had to the relevant zoning of the property – found in the s 149 Certificate.

Approval process

This can be done in one of two ways:

  • By applying to an accredited certifier if it meets the development standards in the State Environmental Planning Policy Affordable Rental Housing 2009 (Affordable Housing SEPP). This is otherwise known as Complying Development (CD) and provides the most straightforward & cost effective process; or
  • By submitting a Development Application (DA) to the local Council.

Generally speaking, if you are wanting to build a granny flat in a rural zone or large lot residential zoning area, it will most likely only be able to be built with DA consent.

Minimum criteria for constructing a granny flat

The Affordable Housing SEPP sets out the following as the minimum criteria for a granny flat:

  1. There must be one principal dwelling and one secondary dwelling on the property; i.e. subdivision is not permitted;
  2. The maximum floor area for a granny flat is 60 square metres;
    1. Note that if approved through CD, specific details for floor area are contained in the Affordable Housing SEPP;
    2. If approved through the DA process, the max. is as set out by the local council for that zone – so again, review the 149 certificate and local legislation;
  3. The site area that the granny flat is to be built upon must be a minimum of 450 square metres.

Complying Development does not override private covenants or similar legal instruments. For e.g. a covenant requiring that a building is made from specific construction materials will also apply in respect of the CD application.

This is a burgeoning area of property law and one trend which appears to be increasing in popularity.  People see this as a great way to assist aging parents or to generate some sort of income from their property (subject to applicable legislation).

Need more info?  Get in touch with ClickLaw today.

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