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Dual Occupancy - Redcliffe

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by New Town, 3rd Feb, 2016.

  1. New Town

    New Town Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8th Sep, 2015
    Posts:
    96
    Location:
    QLD & NSW
    Hi All

    These have been covered a bit before but wanted to check the latest -

    My IP was built 1940’s and had a conversion about 25 years ago to include a flat under. I’m not aware if the flat ever had council approval and I'm yet to check directly with Council. Some details are:
    • 3 bedroom upstairs, separate 1 bed flat below (separate kitchen, bathroom, no internal stairs)
    • Height under is 2.4 metres
    • Flat has separate electricity metering
    • Moreton Bay Regional Council zoned as Next generation neighbourhood precinct (ex Mixed Residential)
    • The houses either side are the same arrangement - but might not be separately rented
    The main issue is in regards to insurance. How shall I approach sorting this all out?

    Thanks
     
  2. mcarthur

    mcarthur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    521
    Location:
    ACT
    I bought one in Scarborough with 3 bed up, 2 bed down, but it was classified as a single residence (at the same time as 2 flats!).
    It was built as two flats in the 60's (e.g. no inside stairs) and has separate metering. I had an interesting time with MBRC when I was purchasing as the zoning didn't match the property use, but they were (surprisingly) excellent and finally decided to allow the two parts to be separately rentable even though the property certainly doesn't meet the modern building code, underneath isn't 2.4m, and it's only on 405sqm.

    According to insurance, if MBRC is ok to define it as acceptable then insurance is happy to cover it like that. Right now though I've decided to rent it out as a single rental, so insurance hasn't been an issue.

    I'd say your issue could be whether the conversion was approved at the time, and then whether it's been used continuously as two separate flats since. I found MBRC great down at the technical people, so I wouldn't be afraid to contact them with the question. Personally, given the risks, I wanted (and got) something in writing from council: I sleep well at night.
     
  3. New Town

    New Town Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    QLD & NSW
    Ok, I'll try it on. I have one in a regional council area where they agreed its ongoing use as a dwelling and flat.
     
  4. Tim & Chrissy

    Tim & Chrissy Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    NSW
    If it wasn't ever approved one of the main issues you will have is fire rating under the Building Code.

    I believe burn time from one unit to the next has to be 30 minutes. I asked a builder about a highset granny flat conversion prior to purchase and the fire rating was a big issue.
     
  5. RPI

    RPI Property Lawyer, Town Planner Business Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
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    Location:
    Brisbane
    Existing Lawful Use

    If it was lawful to use the property that way 25 years ago and has been used on a continuing basis the same way then you are ok.
     
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  6. Tim & Chrissy

    Tim & Chrissy Well-Known Member

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    5th Dec, 2015
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    813
    Location:
    NSW
    Does this apply to NSW?

    We have a place that used to be a 5 bed holiday let. The owner turned the top two levels into a single house and kept basement as a 1 bed unit. When she rented it out the tenant sub let to her daughter who stayed in the basement.

    The previous owner (aged 92) claims she had holiday let approval from council however due to the big fire that wiped out records pre 70's there is no record of approval.
     
  7. mcarthur

    mcarthur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    Location:
    ACT
    To paraphrase Yes Minister - ah yes, the floods of 1974 were marvelous :)

    Sir Humphrey Appleby: ...some correspondence lost in the floods of 1967...
    James Hacker: Was 1967 a particularly bad winter?
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: No, a marvellous winter. We lost no end of embarrassing files.
     
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