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What You May Not Know About Granny Flats In Sydney

Granny flats have been around nearly as long as houses, modern granny flats are a leap from those of the past. Today’s Granny Flats are well appointed comfortable and stylish and completely customisable. Granny flats also known as Backyard Cabins or Secondary Dwellings can offer additional living space, a kids or parents retreat, somewhere to put the folks or a visitor staying over, music or art studio or even a office. One powerful reason to build a granny flat is as an rental income stream which you can use to reduce your home loan income significantly.

Granny Flat Designs

Your design options for Granny Flats are virtually limitless as you can configure the design for whatever the purpose of the project is intended, be it a retreat or gaming area for the kids, a home office, rental or somewhere to have mum and dad close by. Your configuration option can include one, two or even three bedrooms, walk in robes, bathrooms and kitchens or even special access for the elderly or disabled. The builder you choose for your project can alert you to any restrictions for the site or local council. Some considerations you may like to think about are as follows:

  • Adding onto your existing home
  • Converting existing areas
  • Constructing a standalone dwelling
  • Choosing a Granny Flat Kit
  • A design that is suitable to the neighbourhood
  • Blocking views of your neighbours

Granny Flat Regulations

Recently Granny Flats have been classed as secondary dwellings under the current legislation which has made the entire process alot easier, each council has some differences in their regulations and you should contact them for this information. General legislation guidelines worth noting are as follows:

  • Limits in terms of size or floor space
  • Properties generally can not be subdivided by the propose Granny Flat
  • A limit of one Granny Flat/Cabin/Secondary dwelling per block
  • The project must meet all regulations of the building code of Australia, local councils and state governments (Basix)
  • Dual occupancy or Strata blocks may be excluded – see local council

There are some over limitations such as sewer mains to be noted, but you’re generally free free to build otherwise. It’s always best to employ a specialist in Granny Flat approvals who understands the regulations and can take the headache out of the approval process for you.

You mentioned Secondary Dwelling? What is it?

Secondary dwellings are part of the State Environmental Planning Policy known as (SEPP), and are classed under the Affordable Rental Housing component of this legislation. This is intended to make the process a lot easier for homeowners to meet building regulations. As such Granny Flats have the status of a complying development, which have an expedited approval process, with authorisation normally processed in as little as ten days. Complying developments are generally smaller structures such as alterations, awnings, carports, garages, decks, patios and swimming pools. A Complying Development Certificate can be issued by your local council or an Accredited Certifier.

There are a few places on the Internet to learn and discover regulations, legislation and laws concerning Granny Flats in Sydney and New South Wales, I have however found one site that seems to be filling this void of knowledge for mums & dads and investors. I highly recommend reading some of the articles which can be found here, basically what they have done is made sense of complicated laws and regulations around secondary dwellings.

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