Building granny flats is on the rise – there is no doubt about that! House prices are increasing, and people are looking for cheaper and more affordable housing solutions. granny flats are seen as a good investment with rental returns of $300 a week plus. While this is great for the investor, neighbours are slightly overlooked. One of the biggest complaints neighbours lodge over a granny flat is a loss of privacy.
Thanks to new rules introduced by the government in 2009 granny flats are easier to build than ever before, as long as certain criteria have been met. Builders don’t need council approval and can instead have a private certifier approve the plans under the *complying development* rules. Unfortunately or fortunately, your neighbours don’t have the opportunity to raise any objections under these rules.
While there are rules in place that neighbours must be notified of granny flat plans – they still can’t make any objections. When the government introduced the granny flat policy, it was with the aim to increase affordable housing AND give homeowners a chance to make some extra money.
If you are thinking of having a granny flat built the approval process does involve a few steps, and just like building a standard home, the Building Code of Australia also applies. This means the granny flat has to be built to code and shortcuts are not an option.
What IS a granny flat? A granny flat, or, a secondary dwelling is self-contained accommodation within, attached or separate from an individual residence.
Does a granny flat have to be in the backyard? It can be within, attached or separate from the main dwelling
How do I get approval? A private certifier will be able to assess and approve your new granny flat application
Is it easy to get approval? – you can get a granny flat approved within as little as 20 days
What about my neighbours? What if they don’t like it? If your neighbours are not happy with the granny flat and do complain about it, there is very little they can do about it. Unless they can identify a reason that it should not have been approved through the AHSEPP. The private certifier that you choose will have notified your neighbours of your application 14 days before its approval. After the Complying Development Certificate is issued, you will also need to notify your neighbours seven days before any work starts on the granny flat.
You do have the option of *working with * your neighbour and addressing any concerns they may have, and a solution may be as simple as adding a privacy screen.