A Granny Flat is a self-contained house, located on the same block of land as your family home. Granny Flat often have a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette and a small living area. They are similar to a studio apartment in size but detached and sharing the same block of land with another building. Granny Flats can be built in Canberra in a number of different ways, including; custom-built, pre-fabricated, transportable, or even flat-pack. They can be a great asset to your home as they can be used for:
- Renting for additional income
- Separate accommodation for parents or teenagers
- Adding an external home office or studio
- Making use of a large block that cannot be subdivided
Although growing in popularity and are convenient for homeowners, Granny Flats are not the easiest things for Canberra builders. So to make this process easier, this article will summarise some important things to know before and after you build your Granny Flat.
Rules and regulations
Officially Granny Flat is known as “Secondary Residence”, and come along with a series of rules which change from area to area. The best way to make sure your granny flat remains within the rules and codes set by your council area is by employing a local and experienced builder from your local area. This way, you can be sure you Granny Flat will be with your council guidelines as you build will have done his research. As always, research is key when building anything!
Similarly, regulations will have a prescribed maximum block size and minimum floor space for your Granny Flat. In the ACT, your Block size must be 500m2 or larger, while your Granny flat floor space must be between 40m2 and 90m2.
What’s it like leasing a Granny flat?
A major pro of having a granny flat is that you have the ability to generate additional income by renting it out. Remember it is always legal to lease or rent out a Granny Flat, and it depends on what state you live in. In Australian Capital Territory, it is completely legal, same for WA, NT, TAS and most of NSW. But in VIC and QLD the rules vary, while in SA it is completely illegal to rent a granny flat. When leasing you granny flat make sure to consider access and car parking. So that your tenant can easily access both their vehicle and home without disrupting your own access.
What Else Can You Use a Granny Flat For?
Don’t feel like renting? Having a Granny Flat can generally help make living arrangements more flexible. Traditionally used to house elderly relatives in need of family support, they can also be used by young adults as a cheap independent living option, or as a home office to help build your own business.
Regardless of how you use your Granny Flat, it will ultimately improve your property value in the long term. So make sure to build a quality building that will hold up over time, or it could have the opposite effect. Similarly, it is important for you granny flat to complement the already existing building, so consult with your builder in Canberra throughout the process.