Granny flat is a dwelling unit built in addition to a primary unit. Therefore, they become two dwelling units in one portion of land, attached or detached. In Victoria, Australia construction of granny flats is a means of adding value to a property. The subdivision of the property makes dual occupation attractive for property investors, dwellers and developers.
Styles of subdivision
A granny flat is normally constructed through various styles of subdivision where you can have the additional unit as
- A garage apartment, which is a suite above a back isolated garage.
- A basement suite, which is below the foremost floor of a single dwelling.
- A guest house, which is a suite detached from the main dwelling. It is also known as the garden suite.
- An attached suite, which involves sharing of some common spaces such as the living room while others such as the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen are separate.
In the construction industry, the granny flat is commonly known as the accessory dwelling unit (ADU). They are mostly used to accommodate elderly parents as they provide a profusion of social contact which has been proven to be healthy for the aging. They are also used by young adults or as rental units.
Restrictions in constructing a granny unit
There are a few difficulties that one faces when constructing a granny flat. This could include municipal statutes, zoning laws, building precincts and neighborhood area covenants among others. For example,
- Granny flats can only be constructed on residential zone property.
- One residential property is restricted to one granny flat.
- The granny flats cannot be constructed on strata title or the subdivided and community title property.
- They can only have 60m2 of living space.
Sometimes it is easy to ignore such restrictions when transforming an existing structure.However, it becomes difficult when constructing a new one. Despite laws and regulations, one might also find difficulty in getting finances needed to construct a new additional unit because they are relatively expensive. When renting out the unit, some municipalities require one to provide driveways or off-street parking for the granny flat occupant. This is an added expense which is entirely unattainable in certain properties, due to their location.
Therefore, as much as granny units are a much preferred multi-generational settlement style, it is wise to consult with the law experts to avoid law suits or any trouble with the law. For more information on granny flats, talk to a professional.