Granny Flats Rules and Regulations

What are the rules for granny flats?

These days, anyone can rent a granny flat in Australia, regardless of whether or not they are related to the occupants of the primary dwelling. As a result, tenants have more options, and owners can profit from renting out their granny flat. This can make it far easier to build a granny flat on your own pre existing and already developed land. Effective now, you are opened up to a whole world of benefits and possibilities in property ownership and investment.

It’s true that state governments acknowledge that granny flats, also known as secondary dwellings, give people more rental options, especially in a time when financial hardships can unfortunately be commonplace. Even with the removal of this kind of red tape obstacle, there are still a number of regulations pertaining to granny flat construction. The specific state laws that apply to the structure will determine how these rules vary.

We will let you in on these and other types of requirements in this article. We will also outline the type of research required that will make building a granny flat far less complicated than you might have imagined.

Can granny flats be rented out?

As mentioned previously, government officials have become aware of the significant benefits that granny flats can offer. For example, the QLD Government’s State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning states that “secondary dwellings on existing properties, commonly known as granny flats, offer a solution for homeowners looking to add value to their property and help provide housing options for people in their community.”

Factors such as population explosion, housing shortages, economic downturn and even traffic problems point to the reasons why officials have made it easier for people to rent out a granny flat. It’s a silver lining that current and aspiring property owners can certainly take advantage of, and one that renters can actually benefit from too!

  • Let's have a look at these types of restrictions (that mean granny flats can be rented out far more easily) being lifted across Australia, using Queensland as an example:
  • If you currently own a secondary residence in Queensland, commonly referred to as a granny flat, and it has planning approval, there is nothing further you need to do.
  • If your existing secondary residence (aka granny flat) does not require planning permission or have occupancy restrictions, you can rent it out immediately.
  • You should keep in mind that laws and guidelines surrounding granny flats may differ from state to state and even from council to council. You can obtain helpful information from your local council website or by visiting online at and

Granny flats Australia recommendations

Did you know that official data from property industry researcher Corelogic (in an analysis of all residential properties across Australia’s three largest capitals) has identified more than 655,000 sites suitable for the construction of a granny flat? Many people are looking at this as a solution to help ease the housing shortage. It’s an eye-opening fact, but before you rush in to look at granny flats to build, you should make sure the necessary groundwork is complete.

One preliminary factor in adding another structure to your home or property is that the footprint of the existing property must be positioned such that the development is permitted, and the land area must be sufficient to accommodate the new dwelling (granny flat). In other words, you need to have enough room. Although it sounds fairly straightforward when you put it that way, it’s actually a technical factor and part of due process, i.e., spatial assessment.

Ensure you become familiar with all the laws and guidelines surrounding granny flats in Australia, and specifically the area in which you intend to build. It’s important that you rely on trusted information before you build a granny flat so you don’t encounter problems later on.

Here is a summary of some of the preliminary steps involved in building a granny flat. They are by no means exhaustive, may differ from state to state and are subject to change:

  • Zoning Analysis: Ascertain which zoning regulations are relevant to the property. Find out whether the zoning allows for the construction of a granny flat.
  • Spatial Assessment: Subtract the total site area from the area of all the existing structures to determine the amount of space that is available. Determine if there is enough room for a granny flat, which is typically 60 square metres in size, taking into account any setbacks or space requirements required by local laws.
  • Building Count Assessment: Confirm that there is currently only one building on the site that exceeds 20 square metres in size.
  • Parcel Size Verification: Confirm that the parcel size satisfies the minimal requirements for a granny flat set forth by local regulations.
  • Open Space Evaluation: Examine whether the site's remaining area, after the granny flat is included, satisfies the minimal open space requirements specified by the local ordinance.
  • Dual Occupancy Prohibition Check (if applicable): If there are regulations prohibiting dual occupancy at the site, look into whether the site complies with these limitations.

Finally, granny flats are required by law to adhere to all applicable Australian Standards as well as the Building Code of Australia. Your granny flat supplier should be able to let you know about most of the above aspects, if not all (and make sure they are covered for you in convenient solutions such as a granny flat kit).

Granny flat kits are available in key areas across Australia, providing a trusted way for people to  achieve more space, save money and plan for the future. Why wait to achieve flexibility in a housing shortage environment?