Understanding the New Queensland Law on Secondary Dwellings

Housing costs have been rising faster than wages, making it difficult for many people – especially young people and low-income earners – to buy a home. As a result, many state that Australia is experiencing a “housing crisis”. 

In an effort to increase housing diversity, affordability, and flexibility, the Queensland Government has introduced changes to laws on secondary dwellings, and it’s important to understand these changes to ensure maximum benefit and government compliance.

In this blog, Queensland House Removers sheds light on these changes for your understanding and benefit.

Firstly: What is a Secondary Dwelling?

A secondary dwelling is a self-contained and separate living unit that is secondary to the primary dwelling on a property. It is typically located on the same lot as the main residence but is designed as an independent living space.

Secondary dwellings can take various forms, but the most common is a granny flat. Granny flats are often small, self-contained units built as an extension to an existing house or as a separate structure within the property. They generally include living areas, a kitchenette or full kitchen, bathroom facilities, and a separate entrance.

Changes to who can Inhabit Secondary Dwellings 

Previously, secondary dwelling owners could only rent these housing structures to immediate family members. In the new Queensland law, this restriction has been removed. Now, secondary dwellings can be rented to anyone. 

Not only does this provide a wider variety of cost-effective housing options, but it provides household owners with additional income during a period of high cost of living. 

Changes to Planning Assessment 

Planning assessment regarding how household members will occupy the space together is no longer required; the Queensland government has established that this should not determine how land is managed. A more streamlined approval process enables homeowners to construct secondary dwellings with fewer restrictions, faster approval times, and greater flexibility. 

Factors that Remain Unchanged

There are many factors surrounding building a secondary dwelling that remain unchanged. You are still required to discuss your proposed secondary dwelling with your local council and seek developmental approval if needed. Building and fire safety approvals are required for all secondary dwellings.

Tenancy agreements also remain unchanged. The Residential Tenancies Authority will advise on the best agreement type for your secondary dwelling.

Information for Current Owners

You can benefit from the new Queensland law if you own a secondary dwelling. You can now rent your secondary dwelling to anyone if planning approval was not required for your structure. Should your approval currently place restrictions on how your secondary dwelling can be occupied, you can apply to have this changed.

There are numerous important considerations to make before renting out your secondary dwelling. Ensure you have the necessary building approvals, especially regarding fire safety.

Secondary Dwellings with QHR

With the new Queensland law, owning a secondary dwelling can be extremely beneficial as a means of additional income and supporting your local community. Queensland House Removers has numerous demountable houses of varying sizes and prices available for purchase. To view these high-quality removable houses, click here. The friendly team at QHR is here to support you as you navigate secondary dwellings, and you can contact us here.

For more information about the new Queensland law on secondary dwellings and its benefits, visit the government site.

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