With no end in sight to Australia’s housing affordability issue, it’s becoming harder to find affordable, low-maintenance rental properties in the capital cities. Granny apartments could be a great option to increase living space and provide additional income for your family.

On the other hand, buying a modular granny flat or having one built on your property isn’t without risks. Find out more about the advantages and disadvantages to investing in granny apartments.

What is a granny-like apartment?

Granny flats are generally defined as “secondary dwellings,” which means they’re built on the same lot of land as the main dwelling. Granny flats are separate dwellings with separate entrances.

Depending on the layout of your property, you can either add a building to your garage or a separate one. It’s important to remember that your granny flat needs to have its own separate entrance to meet regulations.

What regulations and rules are applicable?  

Due to the nation’s housing affordability issue, a number of state and territory governments have introduced measures that make it easier to build granny flats. New South Wales’ Department of Planning and Environment has introduced new regulations to make granny-flat construction easier and quicker. Granny flat construction approvals have increased from 1,500 in 2010 to more than 4,800 in 2014.

Granny apartments can be rented out to residents in Western Australia, Tasmania, Tasmania, ACT, and ACT for extra income. It is currently not allowed in South Australia or Victoria.

Before you buy or build a granny flat, it’s important to ensure your planned addition will be fully compliant with your state or territory’s applicable laws. Check with your local council to find out what regulations are in place in your area.

However, granny apartments must adhere to the following requirements.

  • It must be located on a property that is zoned for residential use
  • Property must be at least 450 square metres in size
  • It has to be one of the granny apartments on the property
  • It must be owned simultaneously by the primary residence.
  • Maximum living space should not exceed 60 square metres. This number may change without notice and may not include verandas, carports, or other outdoor spaces.
  • It must be accessible on a separate, unobstructed footpath

Granny apartments are a great investment.

  • Affordable: Granny flats tend to be less expensive than other investment properties. Granny apartments are a great way to start your investment portfolio without borrowing a lot.
  • Rent income The location of your property and the features in your granny apartment could make it a potential source for several hundred dollars per week in rental income.
  • It adds value A legally-compliant granny flat will add significant value to your property’s total value.
  • Practical addition Whether it’s a friend or relative who needs a place to stay, or visiting relatives who need accommodations, a granny flat ensures that you can provide the necessary accommodations 

 Cons of investing in a granny flat

  • Tenants are your responsibility If you rent out your granny flat, you’ll have to deal with tenants. This can lead to uncomfortable and stressful situations.
  • Unforeseen expenses:It’s possible that building a granny flat will cost more than you initially thought. It is important to prepare for unexpected expenses.