Secondary dwelling? Auxiliary Unit? Dual Occupancy? They all look the same but what are the key differences?
Generally, a ‘secondary dwelling’ or more commonly known as a ‘grannyflat’ is a self-contained unit ancillary to a Dwelling house usually for a member of the household group (e.g. direct blood relatives of the primary dwelling house). A Secondary Dwelling cannot be rented separately to the primary dwelling and should genuinely be used as a ‘grannyflat’.
An Auxiliary Unit is restricted by similar provisions to a Secondary Dwelling but rented separately to the primary Dwelling house. The majority of Local Government Areas in South-East Queensland allow Auxiliary Units without any infrastructure charges but it is always good to check with your Local Council or a town planner. An Auxiliary Unit cannot be strata-titled or sold separately to the primary dwelling.
A Dual Occupancy is a completely separate household to the Dwelling House that is already on the site. It can be rented separately from the primary dwelling house on the same title and also strata-titled and sold off separately to the primary house. Think of a Dual Occupancy as a Multiple Dwelling development but only 2 units instead of 3+. Infrastructure charges are applicable, Council approval is required…etc.
Some general differences between the above uses:
|Secondary Dwelling||Auxiliary Unit||Dual Occupancy|
|Crossovers||One vehicular crossover||One vehicular crossover||Two crossovers may be allowable|
|Cars||One additional car park may be required||Two additional car parks may be required||Two additional car parking bays will be required|
|Functions||No limitation||One/Two bedrooms, No more than one kitchen, One living space||No limitation|
|Rentable or sellable?||Must be occupied by the same household group as the primary dwelling||Can be occupied by a separate household group and independently rented out||Can be occupied by a separate household group and independently rented out or sold|
|Services||No separate services are required.||Can have separate meters installed if desired.||Separate services and meters are required.|
|Letter Box||No separate letterbox is allowed||A separate letterbox may be allowed.||A separate letterbox is required|
|Fire separation||Fire separation is optional||Fire separation is mandatory||Fire separation is mandatory|
|Council rates||No extra rates apply for a secondary dwelling||Additional rates apply||Additional rates apply|
|Infrastructure charges?||No infrastructure charges are applicable||Some Council regions require infrastructure charges to be paid.||Infrastructure charges are payable.|
|Rubbish bins||No additional bins are required.||No additional bins are required.||Separate bin storage and services are required.|
Feature image: http://projecthabitation.com.au/
This article has been written by Alexander Steffan from Steffan Town Planning.