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Why Granny Flats Are Popular in Australia

Every locale has its trends – Australia is no exception. Amongst manicured backyards and flower beds, granny flats are springing up as part of the landscape. The small abodes, also known as in-law suites, are the latest trend in the country’s recent housing boom – a boom that began in Sydney and is now impacting other parts of Australia.

Better Than Adding an Extension

Granny flats make it possible to not only accommodate an extra family member but to provide a home office for making an income. The miniature homes can be attached to a garage or the main house, or they can be built as a separate building. In some cases, it is more affordable to build a new building, as the addition does not interfere with the framework of a house. In turn, flats offer a more cost-efficient solution as an upgrade rather than a renovation.

Theses secondary residences can also be built rapidly, in a timeframe of no more than 12 weeks. Whilst most granny flat in Perth structures can be built on residentially-zoned plots, you should still check with the local council for any restrictions. The best way to proceed is to buy a planning certificate before commencing the project.

Reviewing the Building Requirements

If your block exceeds 450 square metres and the granny structure does not take up over 60% of the building space, you should be able to have a flat built. Work with your construction contractor to confirm your eligibility.

Building a flat then really depends on the size of your block. In some instances, property owners do not need to secure approval from the local council. Instead, they just need an endorsement from a certifier that generally takes about 10 days to facilitate. If council approval is needed, however, you typically will need to wait about 8 weeks.

Usually, the regulations for building a granny flat include the following stipulations:

  • Owners of granny flats must also be owners of the primary residence.
  • All residential property owners can only build one in-law building.
  • The flat cannot stand on a subdivided or community title property or a strata title.
  • Flats also cannot be constructed on commercial property or land that is currently not occupied.
  • All flats must have clear and distinct pedestrian access.

The Main Reasons Granny Flats Are Trending Now

The building of granny flats has answered a need in the country – one that is keeping adult kids at home for a longer time period. Because rents have increased, many parents are seeking ways to help their kids obtain a certain amount of independence whilst saving for their own place or mortgage.

Other Australians have the flats constructed for investment reasons. Because the flats are affordable to build, homeowners are finding that the units can provide a nice rental yield – a return that can help them pay off their current mortgage.

Granny flats are built for a myriad of reasons. Not only are they used for home office arrangements, they are also used as housing for elderly relatives or as a lodging place for newly married couples. The flats are rented out for an additional income, or homeowners live in the granny flat and rent out their house. Consumers also build the flats to extend their bedroom space or set them up for crafting or woodworking activities.