Granny Flats in Australia
What Is A Granny Flat?
A granny flat is a small apartment which is secondary to a main residence. Granny flats have also been known as names such as "mother-in-law apartments", "granny suites", and "accessory apartments", the region the term is used in is usually the determinant, with “granny flat” being popular in Australia and “mother-in-law apartment” in wide usage in North America and “granny flat” being more popular in Australia.
Granny flats are commonly purpose-built to house an elder member of the family who is unable to living by themselves, but would prefer not to enter a nursing home or hospice for the elderly.
Often there will be a door acting as an access-way to the main residence, though there is almost always a separate entrance. In North America granny flats are usually built above the garage of the main residence or as a separate building sharing the same land as the main residence, in Australia almost all granny flats will be built on the same plot of land.
Australian Council Planning & Granny Flats
In some council areas, granny flats are illegal because they do not meet zoning laws requirements for the local district. Other problems one can encounter is if a granny flat has been constructed without the required permits or they do not satisfy the building codes.
Sometimes it’s illegal to rent out a granny flat, but perfectly within local laws for a relative to occupy the residence. The laws regarding who can stay in a granny flat (based on relations) and who can’t varies on a council to council basis, so if you are considering building one, it would be in your best interests to consult with the local housing authorities before beginning construction.
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