Granny Flats and Secondary Dwellings

Once you buy a property, whether it’s an existing dwelling or a new house and land package, it’s pretty much set. You get an agent, they advertise your property for rent and collect the rental income for you and manage the property to make sure rent is paid and the property is kept clean. You then expect the property to go up in value over time, but there are always ways to increase the value.

“Secondary dwelling” is the term used by local councils to describe a second dwelling (often at the rear of the existing house) that can be used as a place where someone can live and therefore rented out separately to provide extra income.

Types of secondary dwelling

Granny flats are really just small houses and in most cases need to be less than 60m2. Property owners need to go through a Development Application process (DA) with their local council to have significant work done on their property but if a secondary dwelling like a granny flat fits within certain criteria it can be completed in a process called a Complying Development.

A Complying development is a combined planning and construction approval for that meets pre-determined property development standards. Determination of a complying development certificate (CDC) relies on a code-based assessment that is set by the state government and can be issued by the local council OR a private certifier.

Learn more about Complying Developments at the NSW State Government website

Download the comprehensive NSW Complying Development Planning Guide

Transportable Homes

The popularity of granny flats has spawned a whole industry aimed at providing low cost housing in home owners backyards and this includes:

  • transportable homes
  • relocatable homes
  • manufactured homes
  • movable homes
  • tiny homes
  • flat-pack homes
  • dual key homes

The difference between this type of dwelling and a conventional house is how it is made or some would say, how it’s manufactured.

Learn more about regulations regarding transportable homes below: