Building a secondary dwelling or Granny flat in Brisbane hasn’t taken off as it has in Sydney and Melbourne as yet and as a result there are less Granny flat builders Brisbane has to offer compared to its more Southern capitals. In saying that though, the Granny flat builders Brisbane and Queensland wide are just as sophisticated and offer just as great a service as those who service Sydney and Melbourne.
There are two main reasons that Granny flats haven’t enjoyed the same popularity they have had in Sydney and Melbourne, namely:
1) The rules around renting out a secondary dwelling to non-family members. This is still not allowed in Queensland so you can only build a Granny flat for a relative of a resident of the principal dwelling. You can find out more about the rules and regulations around Granny Flats below.
2) Brisbane doesn’t have the land shortages that both Sydney and Melbourne have – relative to its population. This means that there are still new land developments for typical residential housing being built within a reasonable proximity to the CBD and city centre, meaning that the affordability of close proximity housing is still somewhat affordable and in-fill housing is less common.
BRISBANE GRANNY FLATS RULES & REGULATIONS
Minimum Lot Size: Not specified | Maximum Size: 80 sqm | Rented to: A relative of a resident of the primary dwelling | Location:
Within 20 metres from primary residence
Building a Granny Flat in Brisbane is slowly more and more feasible and practical. The draft of the new City Plan which should come into effect in 2014 has had a couple of positive impacts on the Granny Flat rules Brisbane wide to make it easier to build a practical Granny Flat in the Brisbane City Council zone.
First and foremost, the maximum Gross Floor Area is being extended from a previous 70 square metres to 80 square metres (8.66 squares for the old school) this allows for a decent size dwelling – you could easily squeeze in 2 bedrooms + a study into this sort of size – and you can still have verandahs or patios on top of this, they are not classified as Gross Floor Area. The ‘secondary dwelling’ must still be within 20 metres from the principal residence, this ruling hasn’t changed.
The new plan still states that the Granny Flat is to be occupied by ‘one or members of the same household as the main house’ but depending on how you read the wording, it does indicate that leasing the secondary dwelling to a non-relative may be granted with a development application, as would subdividing the Granny Flat from the main house.
We see a lot of questions regarding renting out Granny Flats to non-family members on online forums, this is still illegal in Brisbane and any other council in Queensland. NSW, Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Tasmania allow renting out secondary dwellings to anyone – but Qld, Victoria, and South Australia have yet to pass such laws. Regardless of the fact that you can’t rent to a non-relative, you can still accept rent from a relative for living in the Granny Flat.
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The same applies to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, although all three areas are predicting a rise in the demand for Granny Flats in the next 10 years as these areas continue to experience population growth with a large portion of the population wishing to maintain a close proximity to the coast. Due to this, we are expecting to see a rise in the number of Granny flat builders Brisbane and Queensland wide, particularly in the South-East.
Even though the rules around Granny Flat construction do not favour an investor or resale situation, this could easily change in the coming years as the demand for accommodation close to the CBD grows, and also the changing household demographics which is seeing more and more young adults continue to live at home through their 20s and more and more retirees downsizing and opting for the granny flat option over an aged care facility.