Secondary dwellings and granny flats now eligible for rentals to third parties
On 26 September 2022, the Queensland Government altered legislation to remove restrictions on who can live in secondary dwellings.
This will allow homeowners with a suitable secondary dwelling, or granny flat, to rent these out to anyone. This is a response to the current housing crisis, and the change will be reviewed in 3 years.
Below you will find a list of questions and answers to guide you on what this means if you have a property that includes a secondary dwelling or granny flat or are considering adding these to your property.
Secondary Dwellings and Granny Flats FAQs
When do the changes to the legislation come into effect?
The changes to the Planning Regulation regarding secondary dwellings took effect on Monday, 26 September 2022.
Can I now rent out my secondary dwelling?
You can immediately rent your secondary dwelling or granny flat to anyone. However, the changes do not remove any existing requirements such as development and building approvals, or to ensure the dwelling complies with current fire safety regulations.
Can I build a new secondary dwelling to take advantage of this change?
Yes, new secondary dwellings are covered by the change in legislation. But as above, ensure you meet any existing requirements such as development and building approvals and ensure the dwelling complies with current fire safety regulations.
For any new secondary dwelling, speak with your town planner to determine if your local council requires development approval for a secondary dwelling, as this may be the case. Any new secondary dwelling will still require building approval.
What steps do I need to take to ensure I can rent out my secondary dwelling?
You will still need to ensure you have any relevant development approvals, building approvals or requirements under other legislation, such as fire safety requirements.
If your secondary dwelling did not need planning approval, or the planning approval for the secondary dwelling does not contain conditions about occupancy, it can now be rented out.
In circumstances where your development approval contains conditions restricting its occupancy, you may need to follow the usual process outlined under the Planning Act 2016 for making a ‘change application’ to change the existing conditions.
Before you rent your secondary dwelling, you will need to check if additional building works are required to be undertaken that need building approval, particularly concerning fire safety.
What’s the difference between a secondary dwelling and Dual Occupancy?
Put simply, a secondary dwelling is smaller in scale and subordinate to another main dwelling on the same lot.
Dual occupancy means there are two dwellings on the same lot, or they share common property such as a driveway or yard. They are treated as completely separate dwellings.
What fire compliance rules do I have to meet?
There is no change to the fire safety compliance rules for a tenanted property, which apply to secondary dwellings and granny flats.
What building legislation or codes must I meet if I rent out my secondary dwelling?
A change to how an existing secondary dwelling is occupied may trigger the need for a building application. You will need to ensure your secondary dwelling complies with building code requirements and complies with any other local government or legislative requirements.
For example, if the use of a single dwelling with a granny flat changes to a single dwelling with a rented-out secondary dwelling, then additional building code fire and sound transmission requirements will apply.
Speak to a town planner if you require assistance determining the eligibility of your secondary dwelling for rental.
Do I need to have a tenancy agreement in place?
It is always best practice to have a signed agreement in place for landlords and tenants. Standard tenancy agreements can be found on the Residential Tenancies Authority’s website. You also need to consider the bond and bond lodgment requirements.
Secondary Dwelling or Granny Flat Rental Fact Sheet
Feel free to download this content in our fact sheet on secondary dwelling or granny flat rentals.
Secondary Dwelling and Granny Flat Rental Advice
RG Strategic can provide advice and information, including assistance with any required building application or rules to allow you to rent out your secondary dwelling.
We can also provide an appraisal if your current property has the capacity for the construction of a new secondary dwelling or granny flat.
We know what local councils will require along with your building certification requirements to ensure compliance with key areas, including fire separation, natural light and ventilation and habitable spaces.
Contact us today on 07 5474 3873 or via the form below to find out more.
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