Granny Flat Brisbane – How do they work?

Granny Flats Property

How Do Granny Flats work is a general question that we often get here at New Property Australia? What is a Granny Flat? How do Granny Flats in Brisbane work? Can I build one? And the list goes on. This blog will attempt to answer and clear up some of your questions regarding the secondary dwelling colloquially known in Australia as the Granny Flat. 

What is a Granny Flat?

A granny flat in Australia generally refers to a self-contained dwelling suitable for an elderly relative or family member. More importantly, this definition will be related to the specific rules for Granny Flats in the particular area you are looking to build. 

Across Australia, the rules regarding building a Granny Flat will vary based on the individual town-planning rules and regulations associated with the individual Councils. 

A very frustrating part of the Australian town planning and building system is that there is no one overall system across all areas. Each local government area has its own set of individual town-planning rules, requirements and nuances that need to be adhered to. Unless you have experience and expertise in a particular area, the use of a Town Planner is often necessary. 

While the rules for Granny Flats differ across Council Areas, one factor that is usually similar across all areas is that a Granny Flat has to be leased to a household or family member. 

Rules on Granny Flat

In Brisbane City Council (BCC) Area, a Granny Flat is a ‘secondary dwelling’. It can be no more than 80 square metres in size and must be for a member of your household. Providing that the building meets the accepted development criteria for a Dwelling House and or the Small Lot Code, it does not require a Development Approval (DA). It will only require a Building Approval (BA).

If the Granny Flat is larger than 80 square metres or more than 20 metres from the main house, you will need to lodge a DA.

Read more about the BCC rules regarding Granny Flats.

There have been unscrupulous persons that have been attempting to flout the rules regarding Brisbane Granny Flats that have been issued with show-cause notices. The main area that this has been occurring is where people have been attempting to rent the areas out to unrelated parties.

Let’s have a closer look at the BCC definitions for a Household. 

BCC defines a ” household” as an individual or a group of two or more related or unrelated people who reside in the dwelling. The common intention is to live together on a long-term basis and make a common provision for food or other essentials for living.”

They define A household as meaning one or more individuals who:

  • are living in a dwelling with the intent of living together on a long-term basis; and
  • making common provisions for food and other essentials for living.

So the person or persons that are leasing or living in the Granny Flat would need to meet the above definition. Thereby forming part of your household. You’ll notice that there are plenty of people leasing Brisbane Granny Flats.

Single Flat Design Brisbane

Renting out a Granny Flat

As mentioned above, if you have obtained approval from Council for a Granny Flat, it should be rented or leased out to your family member or a member of your household. This definition will vary across different individual Council Areas. However, they are often similar regarding renting out to unrelated parties.

If you are seeking to build a dwelling that can be leased out to an unrelated party, then you will need to seek approval for a different type of secondary dwelling. 

The different types of dwellings that can legally be rented to an unrelated party will vary across different Council Areas. Some examples of these are Duplexes, Dual Occupancy, Dual Occupancy / Auxiliary, and Auxiliary Dwellings.

Does a Granny Flat improve the value of your property?

This is a common question, and the answer will vary across different examples. However, if a Granny Flat is done well to a high-quality standard, it can be a very attractive selling feature. Many families live with extended family members who are seeking large houses or houses with Granny Flats to rent. This means that a Granny Flat can be attractive for rental yield. 

A granny flat can improve both the value and rental yield of your property when done well. 

How much does it cost to build a Granny Flat in Brisbane?

We are commonly asked questions such as this. The truth is that it really is very difficult to give any definitive answer without first gaining a lot more information. 

There are so many factors that will affect the price that it costs to build a Granny Flat.

Before beginning, we will point out a few of the factors that can vary the cost of a build:

  • The size of the build
  • The number of bathrooms, kitchens or open space
  • The level of fixtures and fittings
  • The quality of the build
  • The individual site constraints such as soil type, slope, access for trades. 
  • Construction methods used: slab on ground, stumps etc. 
  • Services such as electricity, water, sewer, NBN etc.
  • Driveways
  • Council fees
  • Fire ratings for the area.
  • Engineering and footing designs
  • Building Approval Costs
  • Overlays such as floods, acid sulphates, fire, floods, rail, noise etc. 

This list is actually much more extensive than what is mentioned above, but it gives you some idea of how many factors there are that will vary the cost of a build. 

This is why it is necessary to get an accurate quote prior to undertaking your Granny Flat build process. 

The list above displays the common roadblocks people may experience. We have seen numerous cases of people purchasing pre-fabricated secondary dwellings. They believe that they have secured a cheap option, but by the time they add the costs of getting the build on-site and approved, it is far more expensive than what they had budgeted for. 

We’d love to give you a definitive price guide on what it will cost to build a Granny Flat, but the fact of the matter is that there is so much variance across each individual block and situation. However, if you get in contact, we can certainly have a custom design and quotation drawn up for you. 

Granny Flat Designs

Over the years, we have come up with numerous Granny Flat designs for different clients. However, we have found that the differences across every block of land are so vast that it is necessary to come up with custom designs to suit each situation. This allows us to have designs that meet the individual requirements of the situation and also make the best use of the constraints and nuances associated with the site. 

In many instances, it is also either necessary or preferred to have the design of the Granny Flat in keeping with the existing building. This can dictate and determine the materials and design guidelines of the plan.

Granny Flat Floor Plans

A good floor plan should ensure that the layout makes the best use of space and is tailored to suit the individual requirements. We firmly believe that it is necessary for a designer to come up with a floor plan based on your requirements. Always consider the needs of the occupant on your home designs to best suit their needs.

We have a design team that we use to come up with the most suitable floor plans based on the individual requirements and the site and Council requirements. 

Granny Flat Builder

One of the key advantages of having a specific design drawn up for a site the way that we do is that it enables us to receive multiple quotes to get the best possible price. Our team come up with a specific design for the site based on individual circumstances and area constraints. We then put the design to our panel of approved Granny Flat Builders. We then obtain the best price from one of our panel of builders. This means that we get a better price and timeframe for the build. 

House for sale with Granny Flat

There has been an increase in people searching for houses for sale with Granny Flats. This shows that, when done correctly and to a high standard, a granny flat build can be an attractive selling feature for your property. 

There are many people with extended families and households that are looking to purchase these properties. Consult with an experienced sales agent to assess the added value on your property.

House for rent with Granny Flat

People are always looking to rent houses with Granny Flats also. This can be an astute investment to increase the yield and also the rentability of a property. It is best to speak with an experienced rental agent in your area if you are looking to undertake this as a strategy. You will need to get some guidance on what sort of rent increase you can expect by building the Granny Flat. You will then need to ensure that the additional increase in rent justifies the project. If the increase in yield is not that great, it is also important to assess if the Granny Flat will make your property rent faster, as if this is the case, then there still may be a strong case for undertaking the project. 

Granny Flat Brisbane – Is this right for me?

If you are seeking to accommodate a family member or member of your household, then a Granny Flat may well be the ideal solution for you. This may also have some additional benefits if you are seeking to rent out your property in the future. Renting both units as one is more ideal than renting them separately. The additional structure will also raise the value of your property on an appraisal if you decide to sell someday.

If you are looking to increase the yield of your property, then you need to look at another option. We have an expert team of consultants that can answer your questions.

For further information about building a granny flat, feel free to contact us at New Property Australia.

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